Google Base service goes live

Service allows people to post "all types of online and offline information and images" that may be searchable on several Google sites. Images: All that's fit to post

Google's mysterious Google Base service went live late on Tuesday, allowing people to post any kind of information they want for free and to provide labels to describe it so others can easily find it.

The new beta service allows people to post "all types of online and offline information and images" that will be searchable on Google Base and, depending on their relevance, may be searchable on Google Search, Froogle and Google Local, the company said.

"If you have information you want to share with others, but aren't sure how to go about gaining an audience, Google Base is for you," said the frequently asked questions section of the new service.

Google has no immediate plans to serve ads on Google Base, a company spokesman said. Examples given of items people might want to post include party and event planning services, recipes, a used car listing and genome of the 1918 influenza pandemic.

"Students need as much information as possible when they are searching for the right college or university. Google Base helps us reach students and parents and deliver more of the information they need when making important college decisions," said Hal Higginbotham, president of, as quoted on .

While some observers have speculated that Google is targeting the online classifieds market space, specifically eBay and Craigslist, with the service, a Google executive denied that that is the company's intent.

Marc Leibowitz, Web search and syndication director, said Google merely wants to serve people who have information to share that is not already on a Web site and being crawled by a search engine to open it up to the public. In addition, much of the information in Google Base is expected to be noncommercial, a Google spokesman said.

"We think about it being a utility so people can more efficiently post information to us. If there is more information in the search results the search experience is better," Salar Kamangar, a vice president of product management at Google, told CNET on Wednesday. "It is not a separate property we are trying to monetize. We are not at all focused on commerce or local commerce or classifieds."

After screen shots of Google Base were leaked on the Web last month, the search giant confirmed it was testing a new service.

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