Google Base, a service that allows people to upload content on a publicly searchable online database, launched today.
The product works somewhat similarly to craigslist, making it possible to quickly and easily create a free post that will appear online and can be located by searching specific terms, such as “real estate for sale.”
“Google Base is a place where you can easily submit all types of online and offline content that we’ll host and make searchable online,” the company said on its Web site.
The service gives a unique Web address to each user’s content, allowing people to easily post information without the need to create and maintain a Web page.
Based on the relevance of the items submitted, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle, Google Base and Google Local, Google said on its Web site.
Google has 380 million users per month, according to its Web site, and has been expanding its services to include products such as e-mail and voice and instant messaging.
Last month, Google said it was testing the Base service, but would not confirm whether the move was part of a broader push into online shopping to compete with the likes of eBay or Amazon.com.
While Google says the product is an extension of its existing offerings, such as its search engine and print and video offerings, it could also pose a threat to traditional classified ad businesses, such as national and local newspapers as well as other online listings services.
With options like craigslist offering free classified ads, real estate and other advertisers have been defecting from print newspaper advertising to online venues. Now another online option is available, though it remains to be seen how much of a viable option Google Base will present.
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