Search giant details closures of low-impact services
Google has continued its “spring clean” of services that have failed to take-off, shutting down another seven.
While some closures, such as Gear and Wave, had been announced previously, others are new additions to the scrapheap as it seeks “a simpler, more intuitive Google user experience”.
The closures range from a green project researching solar power to marginal tools that "haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for", the search giant said.
Google will call time on the Bookmarks Lists tool for organising and collaborating before the end of the year, and kill off the Google Search Timeline feature that helps sort results.
“We’re removing this graph of historical results for a query. Users will be able to restrict any search to particular time periods using the refinement tools on the left-hand side of the search page,” said Urs Hölzle, Google fellow in a post on the Google blog, adding that it would also remove the Friend Connect that made it easy for site-owners to add social features to their sites.
"We're retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on 1 March, 2012,” Hölzle said. “We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+.”
Content collaboration tool Knol will also be shut next year, the company said.
Perhaps more significantly, Google also said it was binning the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative, which was designed to help reduce costs of renewable energy by researching improvements to solar power technology.
“At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level,” Hölzle said.
“So we’ve published our results to help others in the field continue to advance the state of power tower technology, and we’ve closed our efforts.”