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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Google Shuts Down Various Products & Cuts 100 Jobs

Posted by @ 8:22 pm
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Even Google has shown they aren’t immune to the economic slowdown by axing a number of jobs and shutting down a number of ‘stale’ services including Google Video, Catalogue Search, Notebook and more.

The full list of Google’s products that have been affected is below:

  • Google Video will have its upload capabilities disabled in the next few months, although users can still watch videos already uploaded to the service. Google Video will remain active, but mostly as a video search tool. This has been a long time coming since Google acquired YouTube back in 2006.
  • Catalogue Search is another feature which has been closed by Google. This was the predecessor to Google’s successful book search and was mainly used as a way to refine their OCR search technology. It hasn’t proved as popular as some other Google services so they’ve now decided to shut it down.
  • Google Notebook has been closed to new users, but the web interface will remain open for those already signed up. The shutdown also affects the Notebook toolbar extension for all clients.
  • Jaiku is a micro blogging service similar to Twitter. Google are in the process of moving this to the Google App Engine where the code will become open source. While Google are shutting down development on the service, it will remain open thanks to a team of Google volunteers.
  • Dodgeball is another relatively unknown Google service that has been shutdown. It was a mobile social network that allowed users to let others know of their location. This service will be discontinued entirely.

The shutdown of these services has been a cleanout of sorts for Google and will allow them to concentrate on their more popular products.

In another ‘belt tightening’ move, Google have announced the layoff of 100 staff, mostly from their recruiting division:

Given the state of the economy, we recognized that we needed fewer people focused on hiring.

Our first step to address this was to wind down almost all our contracts with external contractors and vendors providing recruiting services for Google. However, after much consideration, we have with great regret decided that we need to go further and reduce the overall size of our recruiting organization by approximately 100 positions.

Given the current economic climate, many have expected a move like this from Google for a while now. To be honest, I’m not really going to be affected by any of these changes – how about you?


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Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at ineedhits.com, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile






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