Google's magic formula of selling adverts online hasn't worked for the print sector, with news that the search giant has closed down Print Ads: its print advertising segment.

Google has been busy in recent weeks streamlining its business, shutting down its enterprises which aren't fulfilling their purpose – or, put bluntly, aren't making money.

Print Ads was a bit of an oddity to begin with. The arm was launched in 2006 and brought Google out of its comfort zone (it wasn't web-orientated). It was also based on a rather convoluted system, whereby advertisers chose the space they wanted in the paper, then had to bid on it.

With Google's name attached, however, Print Ads brought in some big-name clients, including The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Not enough impact

In a statement posted on Google's blog, Spencer Spinnell, the Director of Print Ads, said of the closure: "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.

"Lots of people at Google have worked hard on Google Print Ads. Some advertisers have seen good results and our partners have dedicated time and resources to help get it off the ground. But 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."