Google Base Launched. Yuck.

Google Blog officially announces the launch of Google Base. We previously anticipated the launch of Google Base (along with everyone else) in late October.

Bottom Line: This is not a very interesting application in its current form. Keith Teare says it’s like a 1985 dBASE file with less functionality. It’s ugly. It’s centralized content with less functionality than ebay or craigslist. The content is not integrated directly into Google search results, but “relevance” can bump it up into main and local search (and froogle).

Rob Hof’s at Business Week is also blase about it. He says “eBay and others may not have much to fear just yet”

Additional information and FAQs on Google Base in the About section.


  • Cost: Free
  • Item types accepted: All types of online and offline information and images
  • Languages: You can submit your information in many languages; the Google Base interface, however, including the Help Content, is currently available only in English, English UK and German.
  • Reach: Items you submit to Google Base can be found on Google Base and, depending on their relevance, may also appear on Google properties like Google, Froogle and Google Local.
  • How it’s different: Google Base enables you to add attributes that better describe your content so that users can easily find it. The more popular specific attributes become, the more often we’ll suggest them when others post the same items. Similarly, items that become more popular will show up as suggested item types in the Choose an existing item type drop down menu.

There are two ways to upload data – a web interface for one item at a time and a bulk uploading option to send content in XML.

I’ve tested Google Base out. The general idea is that you pick a category for your post. There are suggested categories – course calendars, events and activities, jobs, reviews, wanted ads, etc. You can also create your own category.

Each category has its own fields to ease data input. For instance, the “vehicles” category includes fields for vehicle type, year, make, etc. You fill out any or all of these fields, add additional fields (called “attributes”) if you choose, and add a title, description and keywords (tags). You can also upload a picture or point to a picture on the web.

I found a few bugs in this form. For instance, adding “techcrunch” as a tag failed because it was “misspelled” and it simply wouldn’t include it.

Once I removed the techcrunch tag I was able to add an expiration date and post my test content, which is published after a short delay, along with a permanent URL (this is just a quick test).

Once content is published, it can be edited from a dashboard.

Content can also be searched at Google Base. The above screen shot is a search for “recipes”. Clicking on a particular item pulls up its permanent URL (example), where full details can be viewed and the posted contacted via email.

Brian Benzinger has a more positive review here. And check out what Dave Winer has to say (“It’s microcontent without the schemas”).