Cleaning the house, Google style

There’s always news related to Google, most of it extolling features, or introducing new products. With a large number of products available, it can get a little confusing as to which products are still in development, which are supported and which Google plans to retire. It’s important that to keep confusion to a minimum, Google does a little spring cleaning from time to time.

Here’s a few changes Google has recently made to some of its products in an attempt to clean up their services a little.

  • Goodbye Classic Plus. While not the most popular feature of Google search, it is a great feature that allows a little personalization to Google Search. Classic Plus allows users to personalize the background of Google.com with their own pictures. On October 16, users won’t be able to upload any more pictures and in November, Google will turn the service off.
  • Merging Google Storage. Over the next few months Google will consolidate the storage between the two services, Google Drive and Picasa. That means you’ll now have 5GB of shared storage between Picasa and Drive. If you store a lot of photos online and have purchased increased storage, the amount will now also be used across both services.
  • Turning off Spreadsheet gadgets. When Google first launched Spreadsheet, it allowed users to install gadgets that provided add-on features. Google has noted that the majority of these gadgets have now been incorporated into Google Charts and Spreadsheet, and support for gadgets will be turned off over the next year.
  • Stopping AdSense for feeds. If you have applied AdSense to your RSS feeds – a feature which allows you to show ads on your feeds – ads will stop being shown on your feed on December 3. Any earnings will be finalized at the end of December, after that AdSense for feeds will be fully retired. More information can be found on this Google AdSense support page.
  • Merging of Insights for Search. If you used Insights to help you see search trends and patterns, you’ll be happy to know that it’s been merged into a revamped Google Trends. You can do almost all of what you could before, however, you won’t be able to track traffic to, and audiences of, different websites.
  • Introduced +1 Reports. For webmasters who utilize Google’s Webmaster Tools and Google+, you can now generate +1 reports which look at +1 activity on your website(s). They will also discontinue stand-alone +1 reports as of November 14, as they have been largely replaced by Social Reports generated using Google Analytics.

These are just a few of the “spring cleaning” changes Google has made, and will continue to make, over the next few months. If you’d like to learn more about changes Google is making please contact us.

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