Google is abandoning its two-year-old Google Print Ads service, which attempted to extend the advertising reach of the internet giant into print, after the venture failed to deliver the desired returns.
Print Ads launched in November 2006 with 50 newspaper partners, but subsequently expanded to include more than 800 US newspapers, including The New York Times and Washington Post. The print ad programme allowed advertisers to select newspapers for their ads based on demographics, location and publication type, and then submit an offer and create and pay for their ads online.
Spencer Spinnell, director of Google Print Ads, wrote in a posting on the company website: "While we hoped that Print Ads would create a new revenue stream for newspapers and produce more relevant advertising for consumers, the product has not created the impact that we -- or our partners -- wanted."
Google will stop offering Print Ads on February 28, but will place ads until March 31 for those advertisers with campaigns already booked.
Spinnell said Google still intends to work with publishers to develop new ways for them to earn money online as it believes "fair and accurate journalism and timely news are critical ingredients to a healthy democracy.
Spinnell said: "We will continue to devote a team of people to look at how we can help newspaper companies. It is clear that the current Print Ads product is not the right solution, so we are freeing up those resources to try to come up with new and innovative online solutions that will have a meaningful impact for users, advertisers and publishers."
The closure of Google's print ads service follows the closure of Google Video and Google Notebook. Spinnell said: "As we grow, it is important that we focus on products that can benefit the most people and solve the most important problems. By moving resources away from projects that aren't having the impact we want, we can refocus our efforts on those that will delight millions of users."