Google to retire News Badges, Recommended Sections, other services
| by tech2 News Staff |
In a blog post, Google reveals that as part of a spring cleaning exercise, which started in the fall last year, it will bring the shutters down on a couple of more services, taking the total count to 60. Among the services that Google will be closing are -- AdSense for Feeds, Classic Plus, Storage, Spreadsheet Gadgets, Places Directory.
Google’s AdSense for Feeds was designed to help publishers earn revenue from their content by placing ads on RSS feeds. Google shares that publishers can continue to use FeedBurner URLs powered by Google. This way they won’t need to redirect subscribers to different URLs. Another Google service, Classic Plus, nearing the end of the road, is a Google Search feature. It enables users to upload or select images, which they can use as a background on Google.com. Users won’t be able to upload new pictures from October 16. In November 2012, it’ll be gone, though users will still have access to any images they uploaded
Reveals list of services to be discontinued
Google storage in Picasa and Drive, reveals the post further, will be consolidated over the course of the next few months. This means that users will have 5GB of free storage across both services. So, if you are paying for storage, your free storage will now be counted towards your total. Say, you buy a 100GB plan, you get 100GB of total storage, instead of adding to what you already had. “We believe this approach will make it much easier for users. For both free and paid storage, people at or near their current storage limits will have the same amount of storage after this change,” elaborates Google.
Google will begin phasing out Spreadsheet Gadgets next year. Spreadsheet Gadgets were designed to let users add customised features to Google Spreadsheets. Google explains that the most popular gadgets have been included directly into charts in spreadsheets.
From October 15, Google confirms that it will stop issuing and displaying Google News Badges, as well as showing Recommended Sections. However, even as that happens, Google assures users that they will still be able to tailor their Google News experience by adding custom sections or adjusting the frequency with which news appear.
Google also states that it has merged Insights for Search into what is now revamped Google Trends. Users can now see search trends and compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties in a single place: www.google.com/trends. Google will discontinue support for Trends for Websites, which allows people to compare traffic to, and audiences of different websites.
Google shares that it has removed the Places Directory app from the Google Play Store, and is in the process of bringing down the website. Places Directory was an Android app that helped people find nearby places of interest. Explaining the reason behind discontinuing it, Google shares that users can find everything in Google Maps for Mobile, which offers a much better user experience.
Google’s +1 Reports in Webmaster Tools, which it introduced to help publishers measure +1 activity on their pages, will be the next to follow suit. Now that webmasters use Social Reports in Google Analytics to get a better view of social activity (including +1s), Google explains that it will discontinue the standalone +1 Reports on November 14.
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