The WSJ (subscription required) has caught up on the rumors swirling around the web - (see Tech Crunch, John Battelle's Searchblog , Google Bolgoscoped, Search Engine Watch that Google is on the verge of launching a service that could eventually be competitive with eBay / craigslist and other classified local services.
According to information that was available termprarily at base.google.com Google Base is a service into which you can add all types of content. Google will host your content and make it searchable online for free.
Examples of items you can find in Google Base:
• Description of your party planning service
• Articles on current events from your website
• Listing of your used car for sale
• Database of protein structures
You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.”
Google is expected to provide additional details at a multi-day summit called Google Zeitgeist at its headquarters in Mountain View. Invites were limited to 400 of Google premier worldwide partners and the attendees will no doubt have to sign confidentiality agreements but I'm sure most of information provided by Google will find its way onto the web.
John Battelle makes the astute observation:
A final thought on GoogleBase. If Google is really, really serious about this - that instead of going the Google News route with listings, it plans instead to get folks to post their stuff to GoogleBase - it marks a significant departure for the company: It will become a publisher, a competitor in the content creation and management game, which places it in direct competition with the multitudes who feed and feed off the main Google search engine. Watch. This. Space.