Fall may have started, but Google's year-old "spring cleaning" is
still ongoing, with the company to no longer support lesser-used
features in a variety of products.
The changes announced on Friday are the following:
- AdSense for Feeds was designed to help publishers earn revenue
from their content by placing ads on their RSS feeds. Starting
October 2, Google will begin to retire this feature - and on
December 3 the company will close it. Publishers can continue to use
FeedBurner URLs powered by Google, so they won't need to redirect
subscribers to different URLs.
- Classic Plus is a Google Search feature that lets people upload or
select images to use as a background on Google.com. Users won't be
able to upload new pictures starting from October 16, and Google
will turn the service off in November 2012.
- Google storage in Picasa and Drive will be consolidated over the
next few months, so users will have five GB of free storage across
both services. If you're paying for storage, your free storage will
now be counted towards your total. So if you buy a 100GB plan, it
will give you 100GB of total storage instead of adding to what you
- Spreadsheet Gadgets were designed to allow people to add
customized features to Google Spreadsheets. But most popular gadgets
have now been added directly into charts in spreadsheets. So Google
will slowly start turning off Gadgets in Spreadsheets next year.
- Starting on October 15, Google will stop issuing and displaying
Google News Badges, as well as showing Recommended Sections. People
can still tailor their Google News experience by adding custom
sections or adjusting the frequency with which news sources appear.
- Google has merged Insights for Search into a revamped Google
Trends. You can now see search trends and compare search volume
patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and
properties in a single place: google.com/trends. Google will no
longer support Trends for Websites, which allowed people to compare
traffic to and audiences of different websites.
- Places Directory was an Android app that helped people find nearby
places of interest. Google has removed the app from Google Play and
are taking down the Places Directory site because users can find
everything in Google Maps for Mobile.
Google introduced +1 Reports in Webmaster Tools to help
publishers measure +1 activity on their pages. Given that webmasters
now use Social Reports in Google Analytics to get a wider view of
social activity (including +1's), Google will be discontinuing the
stand-alone +1 Reports on November 14.