Google Base no category killer

When Google Base launched last year, many believed it would be the ultimate category killer, disrupting eBay, Craiglsist and the multi billion dollar newspaper classifieds advertising business.

When Google Base launched last year, many believed it would be the ultimate category killer, disrupting eBay, Craiglsist and the multi billion dollar newspaper classifieds advertising business.

Data published recently by Hitwise, however, shows the Google Base market share of US Internet visits steadily declining since the beginning of the year. Traffic to Google Base at the beginning of April was about the same as it was a month after its initial launch, 0.0002% market share of US Internet visits.

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Source: Hitwise

Google Base traffic in May apparently continues to be miniscule; it did not make Hitwise “Rankings of Top 20 Google Domains for the Week Ending 5/13/06”.

Google’s recent integration of an AdWords sales tool within Google Base (to sell AdWords for Google.com, not for base.google.com), also suggests Google Base traffic and listings are lacking in both quantity and quality.

Why has Google Base been failing to kill the category?

  • Inability to secure direct feeds of key listings databases
  • Google-centric landing pages and traffic diversion
  • Non-transparency regarding content repurposing
  • Commercial spam and sexual content
  • Underdeveloped User Interface…

Or, to quote Michael Arrington, "Google Base Launched. Yuck."

Will Google be a category killer in any area other than search? Join the conversation: “Talk Back” below to share your thoughts on Google’s diversification strategies.

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