Monday, March 06, 2006

Google Base provides the closest means to self-publishing

You don't necessarily have to have lots of stuff to find Google Base useful. There are lots of you out there who have just a few recipes or one-off events that you'd like to post. Recently we caught up with Louis Privette, a University of Cincinnati student, about his productions. Here's what he had to say:

"My podcasts are best described as a hobbyist effort. I can't warrant the expense of a hosting service and don't currently have the knowledge to create a flashy media site to showcase this audio. I simply can't afford the costs involved. However, I do want to share with the world what I have made. I made them for an audience, after all.

Bringing attention to the mere existence of these podcasts is a great challenge. Without the good fortune (so far!) of word-of-mouth or a fan base, I have to make an extra effort to draw people to them. Which means I need a simple way to present this media. With my itinerant (student) lifestyle (read: relying on computer lab access), I usually don't have the freedom to install programs that would help me publish. Simplest for me is a web-based service.

So Google Base provides the closest means to self-publishing I have found. It's a permanent way to organize, archive, and encode ('tag') the contextual data of my content with the least upfront cost -- and without attention diverted away from my site. Basically I want to have my cake and eat it too :). If it helps enable people to find my podcasts, then my time expended in producing Podcast Supplemental is very much a worthwhile effort."

[Original contents from Denise Gamboa, Product Marketing Manager,]

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Referencing your site in single-item postings

You may have noticed the recent removal of the URL field that appeared near the bottom of the single-item posting form. We used the URL from this field to point search results for your items to pages on your website. Now you can achieve the same results using a custom attribute.

Custom attributes can be added at the bottom of the "Details" section of the single-item posting form. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you create one. There are no restrictions placed on the name you select for your attribute, but we do suggest that it be descriptive of the URL value it contains. The data type below the custom attribute name field should be changed from "Text" to "Web URL," and the URL you insert should be valid and begin with either http:// or https://.

We feel that removing the URL field and having you create custom attributes ultimately gives you more control over the data you submit to Google Base. It also increases the visibility of your web site URL by including it in the attribute section of single-item pages.

For those of you who bulk upload your items to Google Base, no changes have been made and users will continue to be directed to the URLs that you specify in your bulk upload files.

[Source from]

Monday, February 06, 2006

Data tip: Location values

One formatting issue we've often come across when processing bulk uploads is the presence of invalid "location" values. Our bulk upload specifications mention that a valid location value is formatted as follows:

Street, city, state, postal code, and country

We understand complete addresses are not always available or applicable for certain items, so we accept partial addresses as well. So how can you find out if your location values will be accepted? Here's a tip you can use to check your values:

Before you submit your bulk upload file, try entering a few of your location values at Your location is considered valid if it returns a hit on the Google Local map. If you don't get a hit, try modifying your location according to the suggestions Google Local makes. If you still can't get a hit, read the information in this Google Local help article.

We also use Google Local resources to help determine if location values in a file are valid. If your address works there, it should work in Google Base as well.

[Contents from]

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Google Base Help Discussion group

"One mark of a strong community is the ability to help each other out, and that's one reason we have launched the Google Base Help Discussion group. If you have questions about Google Base, there's a pretty good chance someone else has encountered something similar, so please consider this an alternative source of support. Tap into a knowledge network of providers and their insights and experiences to resolve questions and problems.

From time to time, the Google Base team will post messages here, and we encourage all members to share thoughts and ideas and to interact with each other. Don't delay - why not join the group right now. The "join this group" link can be found just below the group title at And before you start, remember to read the group charter."

[Source by Steven De La O, Google Base Operations]

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Google Base at CES

"By Denise Gamboa, Google Base Product Marketing

If you attended CES in Las Vegas last week, you probably caught a glimpse of the Google booth. We were there conducting demos of Google Base in addition to a dozen or so other products.

Photograph taken by Shamim

Google booth - South Hall Las Vegas Convention Center

Photograph taken by Shamim

Google booth - robotic arm

Photograph taken by Shamim

Bindu answering questions at Google Base station (left)

Photograph taken by Shamim

Denise at Google Base station

Over four days (January 5th-8th) we met people from all sorts of different backgrounds: an exchange student from France, small business owners, real estate agents, professors, investors, reporters and webmasters. We found that Google Base is useful to people in different ways. Students are interested in sharing information about their classes, their work or their social lives. Business owners want to drive additional visibility to their websites and to the products/services that they want to sell. Webmasters want more traffic and are curious about integrated features that Google Base has to offer. In every case, it was exciting to meet our users and answer questions that you had.

Your favorite features and functionality:

1. Possible distribution to other Google properties like Google, Froogle and Google Local
2. It’s free!
3. Attribute search
4. Ability to define your own attributes and keywords
5. Ability to bulk upload items
6. Ability to link to your own website
7. Email anonymization
8. Google maps integration

Top inquiries we received (linked to corresponding answers):

1. What is Google Base?
2. What type of information can I submit to Google Base?
3. Can I upload digital files?
4. Is it free? No way!
5. What if I have lots of things to share?
6. What are custom attributes?

Many people were also interested in hearing about coming features and future plans. Stay tuned to find out more about those! We have some exciting things lined up!"

[Full Source from]

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Navigation on Google Base has been changed !

"As you may have noticed, We've changed the navigation on Google Base, so that you can first view an item details page before clicking on to the Item URL page.

This change allows us to experiment with how you browse and search on Google Base and see related items. The item details page enables you to see all the attributes and labels attached to the item and provides links to items with similar labels. We want to measure how this navigation changes the number of searches and other ways people will use it. In the future we plan to test a number of other navigation changes in order to optimize the Google Base experience. By the way, search results that display Google Base items on Froogle, Google Local and Google will continue to point directly to item URL."

[source from By Bindu Reddy, Product Manager, Google Base]

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yahoo Beats Google Base To The Punch

Yahoo has integrated auction listings with Yahoo Shopping and the Shopping Search.

List or upload your products to Yahoo Auctions and do a search from Yahoo's Home page using the "shopping" tab, or Yahoo Shopping Home and you will see your products listed.

Sellers can list items indiviually on the Auction website or easily upload items in bulk using Yahoo's "Seller Manager".

No Fees. 100% Free.

Yahoo's Auction/Shopping package already surpasses anything Googlebase/Froogle will be offering for the next few years.

Yahoo had an advantage. They already had an auction platform up and running.

[soure Google Base Forum]