Google has announced the shutdown of Google Health and Google PowerMeter.
Google Health was a service to store your health information and health records online.
Google PowerMeter was a service to monitor your home's energy use.
Just on the heels of Google deprecating or shutting down a number of its API's (access gateways through which programmers can make use of a Google service to embed it in software or their own tools) the announcement reinforces the impression that after Larry Page has taken over as CEO of Google in April 2011, a clean-up is on its way to attempt to tighten Google's focus on what works.
November 2011 research showed Google Health ranking #1 for each of the terms it covered in a way no other page normally does: it ranked only for that term, no related longer tail search.
Earlier, in 2007, the VP of engineering for Google Health left both the project and Google to move ahead with his own online health information company.
Why Does Google Close So Many Services?
Google's wealth comes from one source only: AdWords. It doesn't make significant money in any other way. That is: every other project that you've ever read about Google has started " does not make (sufficient/real) money.
Google's goal is to create as many carriers for its advertisements as possible. Only when the cost of running and maintaining that service is sufficiently offset by the amount of money they make from the ad-delivery on it, will the service remain open.
Will Google Shutdown More Services?
Likely. Every product or service which doesn't get enough eyeballs (as in: unique visitors per month) is to go.
The core business services of search and AdWords will stay for years to come. Virtually every other service is a coin toss.
Should I Move My XYZ From ABC?
No need to panic, especially as Google usually runs a long sunset with ample opportunity to move your content.
Regardless of Google or not, and regardless of whether a web service seems to be promising or not, ensure you always own a copy of your "stuff" somewhere else. Always.
The string of shutdowns should have consumers be aware how entrusting their content to a web service relies on whether the business model of that web service is healthy or not. With that in mind the iCloud vs Google Music race will be interesting to watch.
My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.