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("http://www.google.com/m/search?q=sri+lanka+capital", "//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.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.