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November 16, 2005

Google launches self-publishing database

Google is launching a service that will let Web users publish information online that others will be able to search.

By CBR Staff Writer

The service, to be called Google Base, aims to allow people to distribute content such as job listings or recipes online, regardless of whether they have a Web site, the paper said. It is also designed to allow the creators to categorize the postings, which should improve the quality of search results.

Google Base allows anyone to type information right into Google’s computers, then tell Google what search queries should locate that content. Google Base can host All types of online and offline information and images (aside from such Google-banned advertising subjects as drugs, bombs and hookers). But Google has more specific uses in mind, and went to the trouble of creating a set of templates to help users create these types of postings.

These dozen categories – Course Schedules, Events and Activities, Jobs, News and Articles, People Profiles, Products, Recipes, Reference Articles, Reviews, Services, Vehicles and Wanted Ads – happen to cover much of the spectrum of human beings’ economic, cultural and social interaction.

In October, Google said it was testing the 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. If Google combines the publishing system with its Froogle shopping service and other offerings, it could compete with local classified advertising on sites such as eBay or online shopping at Amazon.com.

As it stands, Google has no mechanism for actually carrying out transactions, although anyone who uploads information, such as car salesmen, can provide links to their own commercial sites. But the company is developing its own online payment system and has filed a patent application for a service known as Google Automat, which would help sellers generate advertising.

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