It feels like Google launches a new product every time I turn on my laptop. And they tend to fit into two distinct categories:

1. Incredibly useful

2. Incredibly bizarre

Fortunately, most of these products are free so we’re not in much of a position to complain.

After some lengthy research, I was surprised by how many tools Google has either developed or acquired over the years. So surprised, in fact, that I thought it was a good idea to compile a list of the secrets of the Google product empire.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Google Takeout. No, this is not Google’s food delivery service (although that’d be handy), but a tool that enables you to download an archive of your data from your +1′s, Google+ Circles, contacts, and Picasa Web albums.

2. Google Mars. You’re probably familiar with Google Earth, but have you heard of its lesser-known sibling Google Mars? What this tool lacks in notoriety it makes up for in geeky charm. You can check out spacecraft landing locations and crater depth, and it even comes with an infrared option.

3. Google Health. This is one of the (many) products Google launched that didn’t quite capture the imagination of the public as anticipated. It was designed as a portal for all of your health and wellness information. This service officially closes on Jan. 1, 2013.

4. Google SketchUp. Now, this definitely falls into the “incredibly useful” category of Google products. With Google SketchUp, you can create anything in 3D, from coffee pots to skyscrapers. Check out the community gallery for added inspiration.

5. Google Correlate. If you watch the new TV show starring Kiefer Sutherland called “Touch,” you’ll appreciate this one. It enables you to find patterns within data samples. Oh yeah, go get your geek on.

6. Google Sites. It’s surprising Google hasn’t done more with this service in light of the self-publishing explosion of the last few years. If/when you do need a spot online to share content with a specific group, this is a decent option.

7. Google HotPot. With so many food review and recommendation services in existence, this seems like an odd one to add to the Google roster. With this tool, you can rate and review places—such as hotels and restaurants—and get recommendations from others. While it sits seamlessly atop Google Places, I don’t know anyone who uses it, do you?

8. What Do You Love? (from Google). Put this one on your “to-do” list. On the back of the “interest graph” explosion, this aggregates content related to specific topics from across the Google product network.

9. YouTube Feather. We’re cheating a little bit on this one, because this tool is a sub-product from the Google-owned YouTube. However, it’s new and still being tested, which means you may not have come across it yet. In short, YouTube Feather is a “light” version of YouTube that aims to take the strain away from your browser and Internet connection.

10. Panoramio.
A photo sharing community that invites people to share their pictures of the world mashed up over the Google maps tool.

So, how many of those did you know about?

If you knew about all ten you either work for Google or perhaps Wikipedia!

A version of this story first appeared on

by (author unknown)