'Google Base': What Is It?
Google Base (now apparently down) is a content entry system for:
- Description of your party planning service
- Articles on current events from your Web site
- Listing of your used car for sale
- Database of protein structures
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 and events, classifieds content or anything else you want to show up in search results).
From Google PR:
We are testing new ways for content owners to easily send their content to Google. Like our web crawl and the recently released Google Sitemaps program, we are working to provide content owners an easy way to give us access to their content.
Think Craigslist + eBay + Upcoming.org + etc. Let's see. More on this in the Local Media Journal.
More from Google's official blog (not much meat here). Forrester's Charlene Li has some thoughtful comments.
What is important ultimately is how Google presents all this data that it solicits directly from users. A general search experience is not going to be as rich as a specialized, vertical experience (or a specific classifieds marketplace). And to fully leverage Google Base, Google will ultimately have to start creating Google Locals or Froogles for content-specific areas.
That will be interesting to see (if it does happen) because there's some tension there. Google doesn't want to take users off to 100 different specialized destinations — the company wants to leverage Google.com as much as possible.
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Newspapers have battled to defend the $19B U.S. classified ads business from the likes of Craigslist and eBay, but Googlebase is their worst nightmare. By providing a form-based front end for both posting and searching, they'll get richer information and it will be much more searchable than anything else out there. Combining this with Google's brand and traffic makes Googlebase a serious competitor. We built a similar solution, a "mini-googlebase" that we now sell to newspapers. Newspapers can only stay in the game if they embrace free classified ads, leverage their communities ties and leverage the printed versions as well to drive adoption.
corrected link is http://thinklocal.blogspot.com