Google, known for ambitious projects like photographing the world's streets and building self-driving cars, has pulled the plug on one such epic endeavor: digitizing newspaper archives and putting them online.
The scanning project, started in 2008, was in keeping with the company's mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
Google told Search Engine Land in a statement:
We work closely with newspaper partners on a number of initiatives, and as part of the Google News Archives digitization program we collaborated to make older newspapers accessible and searchable online. These have included publications like the London Advertiser in 1895, L’Ami du Lecteur at the turn of the century, and the Milwaukee Sentinel from 1910 to 1995.
Users can continue to search digitized newspapers at http://news.google.com/archivesearch, but we don’t plan to introduce any further features or functionality to the Google News Archives and we are no longer accepting new microfilm or digital files for processing.
Google also recently closed its Google Video service, which had been a predecessor to YouTube. These changes could perhaps be part of recently re-installed CEO Larry Page's efforts to refocus the company's efforts.
Have you used Google's online newspaper archive? Was the project a valuable one? Tell us what you think below.