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As I’m sure you folks well know, Google’s been executing some pretty considerable cutbacks recently- eliminating any services and programs that they deem extraneous. It’s pretty clear where they’re headed with this, and what their intent is. Ultimately, it’s all a part of their attempt to streamline and consolidate their holdings. Anything they still do hold, they’re attempting to bring under one umbrella- Blogger and Picasa being rebranded and integrated with Google +, for example. I’d say this is most definitely a case of the latter.
Anyway, it looks like we just might have found the next victim of Google’s inter-company streamlining. Thanks to a tip yesterday from reader Cougar Abogado, I made the rather unfortunate discovery that Google Dictionary has apparently joined the ranks of the fallen, taking its place next to Powermeter, Google Health, and Google Labs. Users attempting to visit the page in order to access the dictionary will now see the following message:
Google Dictionary is no longer available.
Truth be told, I can see the rationale here. How many people actually used Google Dictionary? Consequently, how many folks simply typed the word they wanted to define into Google Search, and looked at the first few results-usually Wikipedia, Merriam-Webster, or Dictionary .com? Personally, that’s the route I usually tended to take- and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
Still, it seems there are still a few people who aren’t entirely content with this move on Google’s part. Fortunately for those fans of the service, I’ve a bit of good news to go with the bad- while Google Dictionary might be closed, it’s not actually dead. I’ll explain.
Gone, but Not Forgotten
Saying Google Dictionary is ‘closed’ might be a bit of a misnomer, actually. Turns out, Google’s simply integrated the functionality of their dictionary into Google’s already formidable search engine:
“Google Dictionary was recently integrated into Google Web Search. Simply search for “define X” where X is the word you want to look up. Clicking on the “more” link (or on the toolbelt “Dictionary” link on the left) will give you practically the same experience that was available on dictionary.google.com.
We’re working hard to make the dictionary experience even better on google.com so it will be easier for our users to get the dictionary experience without the need to go to a separate property.”
So…yeah. Basically, Google Dictionary’s been absorbed into Google search in an effort to further consolidate their properties- and make the Google experience that much simpler for their customers.
Of course, if you’re set on having a full-fledged dictionary independent of Google’s search engine, I’m sure there are a few Chrome Addons that could help you with that.