Has Google done away with News Archives section?
Google used to provide a Google News Archive section that is now accessible at Google Advance News Search. However, the home page of this service is missing. In addition to this, even the help pages to the archive which was once available at Google News Archive Search have disappeared suddenly. Currently, the URL for Google News Archives redirects to the advanced search page of Google News. Could this be an indication of Google’s intentions to do away with this service altogether?
Google had indicated a few months ago that it would be doing away with the Google News Archives Search feature whereby Google provided scanned copies of old newspapers that users could browse through and search online. They had specifically mentioned that although the service would continue to be available online, they do not intend to provide further features or functionality to users of this service. The rationale behind dropping the homepage of this service is that it makes it harder for users to locate the service and the material.
This feature provided by Google allows users to browse through and track news articles that are reported by Google but dated back longer than 30 days – something like a veritable News Archive library. Although the service is still available at the aforementioned URL, the service has become a lot more difficult to access. In fact, only those who had an inkling of its existence previously and have the determination to use the service again can access it.
Although Google may be fully justified in its decision to drop features that are not popularly used, it must be remembered that Google has a responsibility to its large clientele. There are people who make use of the service and abandoning it without sufficient warning to readers is in poor taste. Google seems to be making a habit of committing this mistake as this is a repetition of what happened when Google abandoned their oldest vertical search engine.