Google quietly shuts down SMS search service

The SMS search service allowed users to conduct a Google search through text message. The service was aimed at feature phone users who weren't connected with Internet.

By Kul Bhushan Published Date
14 - May - 2013
| Last Updated
14 - May - 2013
Google quietly shuts down SMS search service

Google has continued its spring cleaning campaign as it axes yet another its service – Google SMS Search.

The SMS search service allowed users to conduct a Google search through text message. Users sends a text message to a particular Google number, and Google responds with a list of search results via SMS, at no cost to the user.

The service includes a number of shortcuts for making it easier for users to look for specific information such as sports, stock update, weather and business. The feature is said to be more useful for feature phone users who aren’t connected with Internet on-the-go.

After the SMS search retiral, if a user sends a search query to Google number, the company responds with a message stating: “SMS search has been shut down. You can continue to search the web at on any device.”

Google's services page still shows a link for Google SMS, but it leads to a 404 page

Google employee Jessica S. posted on Reddit:

“Hi everyone,

Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives.


It is believed that slowing growth of feature phone sales across the globe may have prompted the Internet giant to shut down the service.

According to a recent Gartner report, total number of mobile phone sales across the world stood at 472 million units in the last quarter of December 2012, compared to 478 million in the last year. Smartphone sales, though, increased by 58 million to 208 million.

It may also be possible Google may not be getting encouraging usage of the service, as in case of other axed products, including Google Reader.