I've been thinking a bit more about Google Base recently. As Google edges closer and closer into ultimately including more Google Base derived results in the main search results, on-line businesses, marketers, and stores are faced with an interesting question.

Is my money better spent on Search Engine Optimization techniques and advertising, or should I be paying someone to build tools that make it easy to get my data loaded directly into Google Base (and kept up-to-date)?

Imagine being a latecomer to the world of ecommerce. You've got a vast catalog of good quality stuff to sell, but you are behind the times on your SEO and on-line marketing. Could Google Base be a shortcut to the promised land?

After all, if that's where the traffic is, why not put a copy of you catalog there? Perhaps the algorithm that selects relevant content from Google Base will be more "fair" than PageRank's popularity contest, which often favors early movers.

I expect this to get a bit more muddy before the real benefits become clear either way.

Are the smart SEO companies and consultants already building such tools?


Posted by jzawodn at April 10, 2006 08:49 PM

Reader Comments
# WebMetricsGuru said:

I would think that a business late to get involved with the web and internet marketing might go with Google Base - it's much easier for them and does not require they change much of anything about their site...SEO does require that.

on April 10, 2006 10:49 PM
# Alex said:

I chatted with the Google Base general manager during last SearchSIG and she mentioned the results of Google Base were going to be included into Google Search results (no artificial optimization for the results though) and they will modify robots.txt to allow outsiders like SimplyHired to index them.

Personally, without Base results getting artificial push on Search results, I don't see Base changing the game massively. Craigslist, Oodle and EdgeIO are doing the same thing - trying to be everybody's marketplace, and Craigslist has better quality of traffic.

on April 10, 2006 11:01 PM
# Jan said:

SEOs have started looking at Google Base, I saw several threads in different forums.

It is far easier to build a file to upload junk to Google Base, rather than rebuilding your pages until they work for Google. However, the impact of a prominent listing in Google is so much higher, Google Base spamming is unlikely to be more than an afterthought.

What is unclear to me is how Google Base listings transform into a user for a SEO. He has to get someone looking at a Google Base listing to visit his site. This further conversion step reduces the attractiveness of Google Base for SEO.

on April 11, 2006 12:41 AM
# TechnoHmmmm said:

Google base is not for SEO thing. Google base is way for Google to take over classifieds business. Main body of Google base was "CareerBuilder" job ads (over 80%) for jobs but it seems that they are realizing some facts:

"Losers and Bigger Losers
There will be two sets of losers in all of this. The first and most immediate set of losers will be the start-up vertical search players (indeed one can only imagine the long faces at Trulia (and their VC backers) when they got their first look at Google Real Estate). Of course losers may not be an accurate term as the correct response to Google Base from these companies should be to pick up the phone and call Yahoo, Microsoft, IAC, and AOL and say “you guys need to buy us because Google is going to clean your clock” and who knows some of the big boys might just hit the panic button and write a few big checks."

Just little part of Bill Burnham's post entry about (possible) future of classifieds business from:

on April 11, 2006 12:54 AM
# said:

There's a fundamental difference between spending ad dollars and pulling people to your site vs pushing data out to a 'data'base like base.google.com.

First, the operational details of the upload are fuzzy. they don't even allow you to check the results of your upload for many hours (http://base.google.com/base/upload_instructions.html).

Second, the ability to convert the catalogs and publish it in the base.google.com format might be a long-ish database-to-xml project?

on April 11, 2006 01:08 AM
# Danny Sullivan said:

Getting into Google Base is SEO. SEO to me is the act of getting better natural listings on search engines. That means getting indexed as well as improving your standing after being indexed. Getting into Google Base is going to be an essential component of the SEO game, since this is clearly what they are setting up as the master depository for vertical content.

(Jeremy, as an aside, I can't post here unless I shutdown Zone Alarm. I suspect it's because Zone Alarm blocks my referer data from being passed to you. No big, once I figured that out. But your error page might make a note of that in case others don't realize. Right now it just gives a generic no permission message).

on April 11, 2006 01:24 AM
# Fergus Burns said:

Hi Jeremy

We're working on it - some of our clients requested support for Google Base (and others)

We're applying good old xml processing (pipeline approach) - given some of the quirks of Google name space as well base bulk upload requirements

Will keep you posted


on April 11, 2006 03:41 AM
# Philip McAsey said:

Your Google Button needs a little attention dam XML luvly for many tools prehaps even a Google base tool but oops din't say that did I. No not workin on one no Honest not.

Error message

A semi colon character was expected. (line 7 column 83)

Think dropping the &IncludeBlogs=1 from lines 7 and 8 should fix it.

on April 11, 2006 04:55 AM
# Marci said:

We've built something like this as a mechanism for B2B companies to distribute press releases. We're not as big as Google, of course, but we have a hub where companies pay to post company news.

Our clients can select and append attributes for "city" and "vertical industry" and then all of the posts are sent out to the Web at Large by RSS feed. We've taken all the atributes and plugged them into aggregators, etc.

We've seen better results for our clients using this system than we ususally see with top rankings in natural search. It's cool! URL for the tool is http://www.4syndication.com

on April 11, 2006 06:28 AM
# mblk said:

I think that use of SEO in true web 2.0 (semantic web) will be more and more useless. Use of google base and another similar systems will be only part of automatizations functions of big portals. True space for using this technologies in current time and near future time is place interoperable standards for normal users - microformats. Then you can do event, product, people management on fly on your web,blog,site and you will havent information "how" your informations is matter for web crawler - google, google base, seo robots etc. Investigate more for microformats and your troubles with google base,seo and another search similar questions will be responde.

on April 11, 2006 08:04 AM
# Andrew Goodman said:

More fair? Possibly. Or less fair.

on April 11, 2006 12:49 PM
# Danny said:

What DannyS said, but a little more: Getting into Google Base is SEO. But Google Base itself is SEO - or rather, today's search engines are themselves hopelessly unoptimised, anything that offers more accurate matching between requirements and results has an advantage.

Hunting through text/human-oriented markup for solutions to many problems is really inefficient when the original data is available, and could potentially be queried as such. Services and techniques like Edgeio and microformats are a step in the right direction, the direction being data on the (Semantic) Web.

on April 11, 2006 04:23 PM
# paul said:

What ever it is Google base will be very crowded and we'll be back to the same story, and I'm sure that many SEO experts are already preparing tools to optimize their listing into Google base to get the best positions for the keywords they're looking for.so SEO.

on July 18, 2006 04:56 AM
# Sunil said:

I have been using Google base for over a month now and I have found it to be very useful. But I greatly feel the need for a support on Google Base.

Can anyone help me on this?
My links on Google Base do not automatically direct to the pages on my site but rather goes to a custom page on google which has my page links. How can I ensure that the links take me directly to my webpage.

on September 20, 2006 11:57 PM
# Heidi said:


Just upload a datafeed - as if you haven't figured that out in the past almost three years.

Everyone else,

What do you have to say about Google Base now that it's been up this long? Has it gone the way you predicted it would?

on January 8, 2009 10:20 AM
# Dennis Foreman said:

I'm assisting a client who is late to the eCommerce party and might benefit from this technology: Chef Uniforms of Dallas

Chef Uniforms of Dallas has quite a large number of apparel items that could be reduced to a datafeed for Google Base.

Does anyone have any feedback on its efficacy?

Thanks in advance,


on April 4, 2009 09:25 PM
# Classifieds Search said:

Google Base is competing against better interfaces and more popular sites like Craigslist, Oodle, Kijiji, Backpage, Olx, Locanto and Siftin.com

on May 8, 2009 11:56 PM
# Jack said:

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful post.It is really very informative and nice.Keep on sharing such a kind of nice posts.
All the best..!!!

on May 7, 2010 06:42 AM
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