Google is not done with the year-long spring cleaning. As soon as Larry Page took over as CEO, Google started closing down or merging services and products that weren't getting much traction. The big ones are long gone now, but Google is still shutting down or changing features and smaller services to make for more streamlined products.
In the latest cleaning batch
, Google announced retiring several products and features as well as merging some into other existing products.
AdSense for Feeds getting the axe, FeedBurner may be next
AdSense for Feeds is getting the axe, it's no big surprise, RSS feeds are mostly an anachronism these days, for better or for worse.
Rumors about Google's RSS tool FeedBurner impending demise have been intensifying lately and the shutdown of the monetization platform is only adding to the legitimacy of those rumors. AdSense for Feeds will be retired starting October 2nd and will be killed off for good on December 3rd.
No more background images on the Google homepage
Google is also killing off custom background images for the Google homepage
. With iGoogle already on its way out, background images were the last way users could customize the Google homepage.
The feature, dubbed Classic Plus, was introduced a couple of years ago, but it seems Google doesn't think it's seeing enough usage to justify keeping it.
Users won't be able to upload new images starting October 16 and the background images will stop displaying in November. Any photo uploaded for the feature will still be available in Google+ Photos/Picasa.
Badges in Google News
One feature that seemed, if not ridiculous, at least out of place is being removed as well, Badges for Google News
. These badges were supposed to spur people to spend more time on the site and read more news there, but gamification really doesn't work everywhere, or even in most places.
Other smaller features and products
Insights for Search has been merged into Google Trends which is getting a redesign to accommodate the merger. Places Directory, an Android app that was designed to help users find nearby places is getting shut down as well. Finally, +1 Reports in Webmaster Tools are being removed since the same data is available in Google Analytics.