GoogleLookup Discontinued

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 9, 2011
Updated • Mar 19, 2015

Update: as of November 2011, GoogleLookup has been discontinued. It cannot be used anymore and cells that still query it will return an error message instead.

With Google Labs projects being discontinued by Google came the cancellation or transfer of popular services that were used widely on the Internet.

One of the services that will be discontinued this November is GoogleLookup. GoogleLookup is a Google Labs technology that allows Google Docs spreadsheet users to search for and add data into their spreadsheets. Spreadsheet cells that make use of GoogleLookup data won't return any data at the end of November.

Google Docs users could make use of GoogleLookup to display data like the population of a country, the birth day of important people in history, company employees or CEOs.

Google has created a help page that offers further information about the effect on existing spreadsheet cells making use of GoogleLookup:

As of November 2011, the GoogleLookup function will no longer be supported. This function relies on technology from Google Squared, a Google Lab that's been deprioritized.

To save your data, copy the selection that contains GoogleLookup functions. Then, go to the Edit menu, navigate to Paste special, and select Paste values only. When the function is no longer supported, cells containing GoogleLookup functions will return #NAME? errors.

Google is not providing users with an alternative to replace GoogleLookup with other data. The Google Operating System blog has a replacement suggestion:

Here's a way to use the ImportXML function to extract facts from Google Search (the mobile interface):

=RegExExtract(ImportXML("", "//span[@class='waa4kx']"), "-(.*)")

Have you been using GoogleLookup or another Google Labs technology? Let us know if you will be missing the service and if you have found a replacement for the discontinued service.


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  1. Maurizio said on September 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I developed and alternative for ImportXml and GoogleLookup in Excel.
    There are even some other scraping function.
    The interesting thing is that you don’t have the limit of 50 importxml instances.
    Here is the link to the documentation where you can download the file

  2. kalmly said on November 10, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    One of many disadvantages of online computing. Today your stuff is here, the next day its changed or about to be gone.

  3. Matt said on November 10, 2011 at 4:53 am

    I’m about to discontinue my use of anything Google.

    They’ve killed so many services this year, and hobbled or otherwise changed for the worse other services, the impression they’re giving me is that the new Google is unpredictable and unreliable.

    It was fun while it lasted.

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