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Google wants your car listings, events

"Google Base," a new service that makes almost anything postable and searchable, could put the company in competition with eBay.

In a move that could put Google in competition with eBay, the search giant is testing a new service that would allow people to post and make searchable any type of content, a Google spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.

A screenshot of a page for "Google Base" gives as examples of items that can be posted to Google's server: "description of your party planning service," "articles on current events from your Web site," "listing of your used car for sale," and "database of protein structures."

"This is an early stage test of a product that enables content owners to easily send their content to Google," a Google spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail. "Like our Web crawl and the recently released Google Sitemaps program, we are working to provide content owners an easy way to give us access to their content. We're continually exploring new opportunities to expand our offerings, but we don't have anything to announce at this time."

Other screenshots show sample pages, including an entry for a Thai Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe. One page includes policies including "posting is not permitted for the promotion of body parts or human remains" and terms of service that give Google the right to "reproduce, modify, adapt, publish and otherwise use, with or without attribution" the content on the site for promotional purposes. It also says the Google Base interface is currently available only in English, U.K. English and German.

Some bloggers speculated that Google Base was the precursor to an e-commerce site that would go up against online auction company eBay.

"Google's just launched 'Google Base,' a service to insert and share all types of content: events, housing, jobs, products, second-hand vehicles," a blogger called "Dirson" wrote on New Google Blog.

"The information will be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local," Dirson wrote. "We expect that 'Google Purchases'--the new micropayments service among users--will be also introduced as a complement to 'Google Base.'"

"Is it time to forget crawlers for certain types of content? Will the typical user take the time to send material directly to Google? What about eBay? Just some of the MANY questions, no answers, and Google isn't talking," wrote Gary Price in his blog on Search Engine Watch.

"This sounds big and immensely interesting," wrote Philipp Lenssen on his Google Blogoscoped blog. "Is Google putting a layer in between dynamic Web sites and their databases, replacing MySQL/PostgreSQL/MS SQL, and creating a new GoogleSQL...possibly, with their ads in it? I can't wait to try it."

A reader who posted to a Dutch blog called Seweso predicted Google Base would be a "death knell" for both eBay and Microsoft.

"There is much more to this than an "ebay/craigslist" killer. This is the first part of Google putting ALL YOUR INFORMATION on line that you currently have lying around on your desktop. Before there was no way of doing this other than creating a website which most people are too lazy to do," wrote a reader identified as "Lone Deranger." "Oh, and guess what, once you have your documents uploaded on Googlebase, in a few months they'll roll out Google Office and you'll be able to edit them right there!"

Also on Tuesday, Google began hosting a three-day off-the-record confab called