Last week it was announced that more Google products are being phased out or will be consolidated. Losing some of our favorite tools can be heartbreaking especially if they impact data we’ve come to depend upon to run our businesses. So, what are the highlights that you should know about?
- Retirement of AdSense for Feeds. Designed to help publishers cash in on their content by placing ads on RSS feeds will officially close December 3. Feedburner will be kept open (for now).
- Google Storage. Picasa and Drive will be consolidated. If you haven’t tried Drive then you’re missing out. Replacing Docs, Drive let’s you store files on the cloud providing access from any device. You get 5GB free, and you can purchase additional storage.
- Spreadsheet Gadgets. This feature allows people to add customized stuff to their Google Spreadsheets. Say bye-bye as they’ll be slowing turning this off over the next year.
- Google News Badges. Starting October 15 they’ll stop issuing and displaying Badges as well as Recommended Sections. You’ll still be able to tailor your news experience by adding custom sections and frequency settings.
- Insights for Search. Probably the biggest Google Products change for us techies is the phasing out of Insights for Search and consolidation into Google Trends that’s been revamped. You can now compare search patterns (across regions, categories, etc.). Trends for Websites will no longer be supported.
- +1Reports in Webmaster Tools. Putting more emphasis on social activity like Google Plus, Webmaster Tools will discontinue the stand-alone +1 Reports on November 14 and consolidate it into their dashboard product.
To see previous clean-up items, Google official blog on September 2, 2011 explains a little bit as to why… looking at product profitability and usage. Ok, that makes sense. Google as a company is growing up. That’s good for the long haul. But it also made me curious as to what triggered this clean-up flurry.
Now for the unofficial news… Steve Jobs influenced these Google Products cleaning efforts. Shortly after Larry Page became CEO in April 2011, he asked Steve for tips on how to be a good CEO. The thrust of the conversation was about focus. Having too many products, especially those that don’t add to the bottom-line, dilute resources and drag down an organization. So I predict we’ll see additional product closures and consolidations as Google’s maturation process continues.
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