Search giant Google Inc. has introduced Google Base, its much-rumored listings service that many people believe is meant to compete against auction and listings sites like eBay or Craigslist.
Google Base is based on submissions from Google users, which Google then organizes and opens up for searching, for free. In a Weblog posting Wednesday, Google said it expects content from individuals and small Web site owners plus larger organizations uploading lots of listings.
With each incremental tip of its hand, its becoming increasingly clear that Google is creating a service meant to mirror that of any retail Web site, where it could generate revenues by placing advertisements at various stages of the process.
Analysts repeatedly say Googles user base, which is in the hundreds of millions of users, would be an instant challenge to eBay, the auction pioneer, or more community-focused sites like Craigslist that pioneered the user-generated listings service that Google Base, in a way, copies.
Other commentators bring up Google competitor Yahoos failed attempt at an online payment system. In 2000, Yahoo created a PayDirect feature, only to shut it down earlier this year.