If you've used Google Maps and used the time estimates it gives to help you figure out how long it will take you to get someplace, you might have found that feature useful. Half of the information has been removed, however: the esimate that Google Maps used to give for "in traffic" situations.
Search Engine Roundtable was among the first to notice the change. Or rather, they appear to be the first site to have noticed it, as users noticed the change, and asked Google
what was up. Google's response:
We have decided that our information systems behind this feature were not as good as they could be. Therefore, we have taken this offline and are currently working to come up with a better, more accurate solution. We are always working to bring you the best Google Maps experience with updates like these!
The good thing is that despite the fact that they have removed a feature that we found pretty useful, there's hope that it will return. To be honest, we never assumed the times given by the Google Maps were accurate. We did, however, compare the ideal and traffic-based times as a guideline. In that way, they were accurate enough.
We've confirmed that both the iOS and Android
apps continue to show the in-traffic estimates for driving time, but whether or not that feature remains in those apps for very long remains to be seen.