Google Base service goes live

By Elinor Mills

Story last modified Tue Nov 15 23:25:00 PST 2005

Google's mysterious Google Base service went live late on Tuesday, allowing
people to post any kind of information they want for free and to provide
labels to describe it so others can easily find it.

The new beta service allows people to post "all types of online and offline
information and images" that will be searchable on Google Base and,
depending on their relevance, may be searchable on Google Search, Froogle
and Google Local, the company said.

"If you have information you want to share with others, but aren't sure how
to go about gaining an audience, Google Base is for you," said the
frequently asked questions section of the new service.

Google has no immediate plans to serve ads on Google Base, a company
spokesman said. Examples given of items people might want to post include
party and event planning services, recipes, a used car listing and genome of
the 1918 influenza pandemic.

"Students need as much information as possible when they are searching for
the right college or university. Google Base helps us reach students and
parents and deliver more of the information they need when making important
college decisions," said Hal Higginbotham, president of, as
quoted on the Google Blog.

While some observers have speculated that Google is targeting the online
classifieds market space, specifically eBay and Craigslist, with the
service, a Google executive denied that that is the company's intent.

Marc Leibowitz, Web search and syndication director, said Google merely
wants to serve people who have information to share that is not already on a
Web site and being crawled by a search engine to open it up to the public.
In addition, much of the information in Google Base is expected to be
noncommercial, a Google spokesman said.

"We think about it being a utility so people can more efficiently post
information to us. If there is more information in the search results the
search experience is better," Salar Kamangar, a vice president of product
management at Google, told CNET on Wednesday. "It is not a separate
property we are trying to monetize. We are not at all focused on commerce or
local commerce or classifieds."

After screen shots of Google Base were leaked on the Web last month, the
search giant confirmed it was testing a new service.

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