Contributor accounts have been shut down, and refunds have been issued. It's done.

To quote our previous story about Google Contributor, "this whole thing sounds really weird." After announcing back in December that its pay-to-remove-ads product would be replaced with something new come January, Google swiftly and abruptly shut down the service in a less-than-graceful manor. Now, it's completely dead.

Google Contributor email

It started with the Google Contributor website simply being killed at the start of the year, with the URL sending you to a generic 404 page. This was while Contributor accounts, all of which had recurring subscriptions, were left to still be charged with no management of the account. Today, Contributor subscribers received a simple email (above) indicating that their subscription was cancelled, the remainder of their balance was to be refunded and their account was closed.

A swift (and kind of messy) shutdown, indeed.

Despite claiming that Contributor would be replaced with something entirely new, we haven't heard a peep. At this point it seems as though whatever may replace Contributor will more than likely have a new name, otherwise this whole process of shutting everything down would seem like a bit of unnecessary work. But then again, perhaps that's a bit of foreshadowing that nothing, in fact, will replace Contributor.

The email indicating that all of our accounts had been closed and our subscriptions canceled didn't offer any sort of reprieve, unfortunately. A simple "thanks again" from the Contributor team was all that was offered. I guess I'll wait a while and hold out hope that Google will once again offer me a subscription service to remove ads while supporting sites that I visit.