Stitching links inside of Search within the community's medical section apparently wasn't enough to encourage Google to keep Helpouts alive. The Helpouts community won't be helping anyone out in the future given Google's decision to shutter the service.
Not quite two years old, the Google Helpouts has served as village of experts where inviduals could seek and find advice from credentialed parties via webcam. For example, someone seeking advice on decorating could chat live with an interior decorator for a flat fee or at a timed rate.
About four months before announcing the impending closure of Helpout, Google began attemping to draw web users into the community via a link labeled "Talk with a doctor." Users scouring Google's search engine for information on medical conditions would see the link, which would take them to the Health and Wellness section of Helpouts.
The talk with a doctor link was rolled out on a limited basis, but apparently it wasn't enough to make Helpouts worth keeping around.
"The Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected," says Google in announcing the shuttering of Helpouts. "Sadly, we've made the tough decision to shut down the product."
Helpouts' struggles have extended beyond it woes in achieving popularity. Along with AdWords, Helpouts came under scrutiny in May of 2014 from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competition. Adwords is an advertising platform that places ads inside of Google's search engine.
The CCI accused Google of using vague policies to prevent or limit its competitor's use of Adwords, while erecting a trade barrier to funnel users into the Helpouts community.
Helpouts had a bad start to 2015 as well, as the service found itself crippled in the European Union due to changes in tax laws. Helpout experts in Ireland could only provide free consultations, while users across the EU could only participate in free Helpouts.
The battles for Helpouts and its struggles to reach acclaim will soon end. Helpouts is set to close on April 20, 2015.
After Helpouts shuts down, users will be able to download their histories from the community via Google Takeout -- click here for more information on the Takeout service.
"We want to thank our community for all their support - both the providers who shared their expertise with the world, and the people who needed some extra help or advice along the way. You've had a lot to contribute - and we've loved learning alongside you."