Google has a bad habit of introducing a wonderful feature and then breaking it a few years later, as quietly as possible. The latest victim is Google’s online newspaper archives. Researchers may have noticed that the interface changed recently. This was not an accident.
Someone behind Google’s vast fortress of anonymity (ever try to contact a human being at Google besides “citizen” tech support?) issued a news release to Search Engine Land saying that the project was no longer accepting newspapers but would maintain an archive of what had already been digitized.
Speculation is that the entire resource will silently disappear in a year or two as usage inevitably declines. A stunt like this is a sobering thought to anyone who has been relying on Google’s other features like Google Docs or Google Books. One flick of the switch and the cloud could be gone.