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November 8, 2011

No More GoogleLookup in Google Spreadsheets

One of the most useful Google Spreadsheets features is the GoogleLookup function, which allows you to find simple facts and quickly create a spreadsheet using Google's data. Unfortunately, the function will be removed at the end of the month and this will break a lot of spreadsheets that use it.

"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," explains Google.

Well, GoogleLookup was released long before Google Squared (2006 vs 2009) and it relied on Google's Q&A feature, which is still available.

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

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

Can you find a better way?

{ Thanks, Jérôme. }


  1. Man, does this blog ever bring us good news anymore? It sounds like sad days at the Googleplex.

  2. This is a very very bad practice by Google. First they make amazing apps, then they make 'us' get used to it, and when we depend completely on it, they snatch it away right off from the front of our face.

    The same has happened to me while experiencing Google - Desktop, Chrome 1.0, Body Browser, Dictionary, Notebook & Web Accelerator.

    Either this is highly irresponsible, or rather should I say this is highly EVIL.

  3. it's a good news, thanks for nonstop developing.

  4. Even I was wondering about this functionality.Its not working form few days. Thanks for confirming this.

  5. Let's see . . . "Anonymous" declares Google is evil because something they provided for FREE will no longer be available. Is his/her post not irresponsibly evil? Why not write some code yourself and provide it for free so you are not "evil"?
    - A different Anonymous

  6. Here's one for looking up stock prices:
    =ImportXML("", "//span[@class='ednxka']")


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