Google has for a long time suffered from storage problems, in fact Eric Schmidt (CEO of Google) voiced this last here when he actually used the phrase “those machines are full, we have a storage CRISIS” CEO’s do not use the word ‘crisis’ lightly in my experience.
I have for a long time been of the opinion that google has suffered from the ‘glass is full’ syndrome. I coined this phrase on High Rankings where I moderate, when I said that just because a glass if full, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep putting stuff into it. The ISSUE here though is that as you feed more in, an equal amount will spill out. I honestly feel that this syndrome is a lot to do with the storage problems Google has had for some 18 months now.
It also explains why sites for no apparent reason or pattern, simply disappear from the SERP’s, only to re-appear again a few days later. We are talking about long term sites here with no spam issues, and high PR/quality back-links.
Why DID Google disable a lot of the features it has? Could it be because they were DESPERATE to reclaim the storage space?