Google Base Tests Classifieds, Real Estate and Recipes
What is Google Base? Is it Google classifieds system, a content upload database driven multi-use tool, a possible auctions area? Google tested their Base.Google.com page for about an hour yesterday and set off a swarm of buzz about the new Google Base program, which is still a mystery.
Hand it to Google and their regular pre-launch buzz generation as they ready a domain, run a limited test, and take it back down again – fueling the speculation bees. News of the Google Base being a rival to Craigslist and eBay may have even contributed to a 4% drop in eBay stocks yesterday. And being it the time to release earnings information and announcements by various web stocks, throwing some images and live FAQ page of Google Base up for a few minutes will offset the tide of news into Google’s favor for the week. Amazing.
To back up the theory of Google feeding the Searchosphere with the buzz generating sweetness of honey and cream, here’s anincredibly vague description of what Google Base can do, positioning it as a competitor of almost any web service:
• Description of your party planning service (eVite, HotJobs, Craigslist)
• Articles on current events from your website (mySQL, Yahoo, Blogger)
• Listing of your used car for sale (eBay, Amazon, Yellow Pages, Paypal, Craigslist)
• Database of protein structures (Ning.com – probably the closest relative of Google Base)
Google even admits, they were only testing the program and its availability may not be anytime soon : “You may have seen stories today reporting on a new product that we’re testing, and speculating about our plans. Here’s what’s really going on. We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps. We think it’s an exciting product, and we’ll let you know when there’s more news.”
So, what better way to contribute to the Google Base buzz than a rundown of the Searchosphere’s opinions on the subject!
From MSNBC : ” By collecting personal listings and making them generally searchable without charging a fee, Google could pose a direct challenge to eBay, whose business is founded on the millions of listings it attracts from sellers. eBay users pay an average of 7 per cent of the value of sales they conduct through the auction site.
Many other companies, from online job sites to apartment rental services and Yellow Pages companies, also rely on listings and classified advertisements that could potentially fall within the range of Google Base.”
Garrett of SEL : “Google Real Estate Listings! This deeper level screen shot shows a Google Base real estate listing form.
It appears that the listings will be free to upload, so how, based on Base, will Google monetize real estate listings?”
Dirson : “This new tool will be introduced during the ‘Google Zeitgeist’05 Partner Forum’ to be held today at Google HQ in California.
We expect that ‘Google Purchases’ –the new micropayments service among users– will be also introduced as a complement to ‘Google Base’.”
Wall Street Journal : “But the existence of Google Base heightens anticipation of the Mountain View, Calif., company’s long-expected entry into direct competition with online auctioneer eBay, which also owns a minority stake in classified listings site Craigslist Inc.”
Greg Sterling of Kelsey Group : This could be the entry point for the rumored Google Classifieds. It appears to be more than that however—a kind of universal direct content entry system (for local business listings, local events or for classifieds content or anything else you want to show up in search results).
Think Craigslist + eBay + Upcoming.org + etc.
Phillip Lessen on Google Base and its Screenshots : Do these screens finally illustrate what the program is going to be? I guess we need to wait for the final product to see how it interacts with Google, Froogle, Google Local et al to answer this.