It’s happening: Google Base is launching. (Check the Google Blog for a post, I am sure there will be one.) I plan to talk to Google about this, though what with leaving for London and all, I may not be able to. Suffice to say, this is a major undertaking by Google, and it remains to be seen if the public will take to it. In fact, this is a test of sorts – how large will this get? Will folks trust Google with their data? Will folks see the value in it? Will Google Base become the first application that forces Google to….gasp…market its offerings? As in “List your data on Google Base, the “it” place to represent reality”?
Google is saying this is simply a new way to augment their search results. Google’s right. And that alone makes it one Very Big Deal. From the PR note emailed to me just now:
Today, we launched Google Base a free online service where users can submit all types of online and offline content that Google will host and make searchable online. ….Google Base is an extension of Google’s existing content collection efforts such as our traditional web crawl system, as well as Google Sitemaps, Google Print and Google Video – all which enable content owners to easily make their information searchable via Google. The goal of Google Base is to improve the overall quality and breadth of Google Search results by collecting even more information about a wider diversity of content. ….Similar to a database, Google Base enables content owners to describe and assign attributes to it the information they upload and uses this meta-data to better target search results to what users are looking for. For example, if a chef chooses to upload their very best recipe for tamales he/she can further describe that recipe with a photo or by assigning attributes such as “medium-spicy” or “spicy.” When a user searches for the word [tamale recipes] from the Google Base homepage they will be presented with a list of recipe results accompanied by a list attributes at the top of page which enable them to further refine their search to “medium-spicy” or “hot” tamale recipes.
Rarararararghghghghghghg…this kind of disingenuous exemplar text makes me grind my teeth. This has as much to do with tamales as, well, forget what I have to say about it. Go back to the basics, and once again, read Paul Ford.
Again, from the email:
Google Base also creates a new opportunity for content producers to submit any kind of information even if it’s not a web page or online.
Behold, the physical world rendered as information. One of the main arguments in my book is that if it’s not in the index, it’s not considered valuable in a search-driven world. This, of course, is a new way to Get Into The Index. We’ve only just begun….