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Google Base, classified ads?

Google prepares to take on ebay and others



6:19 pm on Oct 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo notes that some folks in Europe caught a screen shot of Google Base, which looks to be a potential rival to eBay, before Google apparently took it down. It actually sounds like more than that from the description on the page: "Google Base is Google's database into which you can add all sort of content. We'll host your content and make it searchable online for free." It provides examples, from "listing of your used car for sale" to "database of protein structures."

Is Google trying to be everywhere on the Internet?

Rumors surface on the big G and their plans to take on ebay with their own site for buyers and sellers.


[edited by: engine at 1:50 pm (utc) on Oct. 26, 2005]
[edit reason] Added quotes [/edit]


12:49 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Ankhenaton's post makes a good point. I wonder what will keep Google Base from being filled with spam/scrapers? Or, worse, simply junk?

The New York Times once had a "knowledge sharing" web service called Abuzz. It enjoyed a brief success, but then it was overrun with low and middle-brow questions and worse answers. The database it tried to build was worse than worthless in some categories. I fear Google Base will face the same problem.


2:02 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Looks like they are trying to make up ground on wikipedia too...


2:34 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For info, I saw a drop down list of categories for 'items' that you can post on a screenshot on a blog... the list goes:

Course Schedules
Events and Activities
News & Articles
People Profiles
Reference Articles
Wanted Ads

or you can create your own category....


4:20 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks dillonstars! Very interesting!


7:42 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

BTW, many of these objects are already part of the initial ROR format - [rorweb.com...] :

Course Schedules (in ROR)
Events and Activities (in ROR)
News & Articles (in ROR)
People Profiles (in ROR)
Products (in ROR)
Reference Articles (in ROR)
Reviews (in ROR)
Services (in ROR)
Wanted Ads (in ROR - Product or Service)

Also, ROR can be extended by users (objects and properties). For the current list of ROR objects and their properties, please refer to the ROR Specification at [rorweb.com...] .

- Dom


7:51 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

from "listing of your used car for sale"

Sounds like a great way to get around the sandbox. I can't wait! ;)


11:03 pm on Oct 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If you look at Google News there have been over 300 articles about Google Base; apparently there is a feeling this is a big deal. I don't understand why this is a big deal: I think it could have a significant impact on Craigslist and comparable sites--as noncommercial users may post on Google Base instead of those type sites--but I don't see why it is important to the Webmaster World constituency. Please explain.


2:25 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is very important because we have the leading search engine openly acknowledging that plain text indexing is a dead-end, by opening (soon) its door to a new type of indexing: structured indexing.

- Dom


2:54 am on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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hmm when I goto [base.google.com...] it gives me an google accounts login - when I put my info in it logs me into a login page, but nothing more nothing cool.

However when I goto my google accounts page, it lists Google Base as a service I am signed up for. Yippee!


12:53 pm on Oct 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

my attempts to login get the same response as you, I saw oilman post elsewhere that he saw the same behaviour as well. I think there are still quite a few bugs that need to be worked out.


1:14 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

GoogleBase has been a long time coming and an obvious development.

Let's look at some facts:

1) Need to generate searchable, quality inventory. Search inventory (at least in the US) is slowing in terms of growth. Why? Most people are already online and most of those people already use search (85%+) regularly. New user growth is small (~3-4% annually). So how does inventory grow in such an environment? Frequency of search. Sure, people will search more with broadband and as they incorporate the internet into their lives more, but the big growth spurts of the last few years are not there. Plus, many of those broadband searches may have limited commerical value (i.e. settling bar bets, etc.).

2) Need to develop an alternative to content/contextual advertising. Let's face it, content is somewhat bunk. An arms race between button pusher site developers/sploggerrs/scrapers in AdSense and the associated quality click-fraud issues mean that Google's revenue stream (and stock price) is threatened if all of the ugliness associated with contextual advertising ever became transparent.

3) Need to beat competitors. Google has a history of developing products that work to increase searchable inventory (Froogle, Gmail) while hurting competitors that offer paid varities of these services. Yahoo and Hotmail took the hit on Gmail and now eBay/Craigs is going to have to explain why people should pay to list their items. Free is hard to beat.

4) Finally, look at advertising revenue growth. Search, Rich Media, and Classifieds. Those are the engines, with classifieds accounting for 18-22% of spending, depending on who you ask. Plus, classifieds, arguably, haven't even hit stride online with significant amounts of inventory available offline (local papers, The Penny Saver, etc.)

The trick will be not to alienate large advertisers (Monster, etc.)with the new services and/or put the hurt on them to the point that they no longer exist/have money to buy Google ads.


7:05 pm on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Craigslist only charges for job listings in select areas:

"We only charge for job postings in the San Francisco Bay Area ($75), New York ($25), and Los Angeles ($25). If jobs are posted in multiple categories, each post is charged the fee for the relevant city.

There are no fees for any other kinds of postings. "

It's going to be hard for google to crack craig.


2:55 pm on Nov 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mohey -

I agree. I don't believe that Google will dominate everything it enters. Look at Froogle. Other shopping engines still dominate it.

Craig's also has a unique user experience and value that will be hard to replicate. But, Google will probably steal share from Autotrader, eBay Motors, Realtor, eBay, etc, Monster/HotJobs, etc. Free is free after all.

It will be interesting to see how/where the Google base listings appear. If they appear in the main index, there is a real spam issue that will make the current batch of AdSense farmers' impact on index quality look small by comparison. If it appears separately, such as Froogle, the risk is not as many people will use it, much like Froogle. I am still amazed at how many people don't know what Froogle is.

This 43 message thread spans 2 pages: 43

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