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Saturday, September 29, 2012
Google 'spring cleaning' Contines This Fall

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 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 already had.

- 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 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.

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