Man, sometimes it seems like Google is releasing a new beta service each week – late last night they unveiled Google Base, a service allowing users to upload/post material from job listings and volunteer opportunities to recipes, items for sale and school course descriptions (Yes, I know…Craigslist). The material is then searchable via Google Base and potentially Google.com, Froogle and Google Local. The site does require a Google login and then presents users with the option to either post an item in one of the preset categories (at right), add one in a category you create, or search for an item using a field at the top.
CNET reports that Google execs deny that the service is a direct assault on Craigslist, but the similarities are too many to let such claims be swept under the rug. My initial reaction is that the single search field at the top of Google Base does a poor job of allowing you to narrow your search right out of the chute. In contrast to Craigslist’s preliminary filtering, Google Base makes you type in your search string and then subsequently click links on following pages to narrow the search. There are advantages, however – job searches lead to listings displayed next to their location on a Google map, and like meta job search site Indeed.com, includes listings from other sites (right now I see postings from CareerBuilder and Idealist.org).
Obviously the Google Base team believes that their interface is a great way to navigate through the site. Access to Google’s ginormous search index is a great feature, but I’m frustrated by the fact that, in the case of jobs, a lot of spam listings are showing up. Those interested in earning $6k/month by shopping and eating in their home cities should head on over.