Thursday, 14 March 2013

Google Base - Beyond Classifieds

Google's going deep. Well beyond the simple Google classifieds listing service that has been rumored for some time. Today Google let the news leak out that they are launching a new service called Google Base. In this case "Base" is short for database. It seems that Google will allow people to post just about any type of content in this new database and make it searchable online.

This approach is bound to ruffle many more feathers, especially that of the major incumbents in this area like eBay, Craigslist, Monster and especially newspaper publishers. Many people thought Google might go the Oodle/Google News route and aggregate, index and push user to the appropriate website from Google search engine (or Froogle). But now with the announcement of Google Base they are much more in direct competition with some serious players.

The questions remain:
  1. Can Google get users to generate a significant amount of content in the Google Base? So far, with the major exception of Google Search, the other Google services are significantly behind in consumer adoption (Google News, Froogle, Google Talk, etc).
  2. The concept of Google Base seems tremendously broad. People so far have been comfortable going to verticals for classified listings like and, etc. Google is not only planning on including any type of classified listing (like Craigslist), they are allowing any type of content! Can something that broad become that useful? Or will it be similar to or any other search engine where sifting through the junk becomes half the battle and overwhelms users?


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