Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What is Google Base?

Got something you want the world to see?

Google Base is Google's database into which you can easily submit all types of content. Google base will host your content and make it searchable online.

You can describe any item you post with attributes, which will help people find it when they search Google Base. In fact, based on the relevance of your items, they may also be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.

You'll need a Google Account to use Google Base.

A Google Account lets you sign into Google Base and most other Google services (like Froogle Shopping List and Groups). Once you've created your account, sign in everywhere with just your email address and a password of your choosing.

This is how it worked for me

I do not plan to use Google database for my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but I was pretty curious how it works. I set up a listing and added graphic which took about 10 minutes. After I published it my listing appeared 30 minutes later. To see my test go to Google Base http://base.google.com/ and type in ‘web design Virginia’ or ‘Virginia web design’. Presto, my Visionefx mini-listing appears!

This is how it can work for you

I have clients who sell and wide variety of products. Some are e-commerce and some are not, but that does not matter. You can link to your web site or post images right from your own computer. You don't need to post images but a thumbnail is worth a thousand words.

Google Base is very applicable to half of our Visionefx client base.Whether it’s replacement windows, real estate, jewelry, frozen fish, electronic, Christmas wreaths, music, t-shirts or credit cards Google Base is a great way to generate interest in a particular product or service. A Google Base listing will also generate traffic back to your main web site thus generating more sales and leads.
Even if you don’t sell a particular item it doesn't’t matter. A lawyer could publish an 'important brief' or a mom could publish a 'favorite cookie recipe'.

Is this the eBay-killer, Monster-killer, Craigslist-killer that some expect?

Let's take eBay as one example. eBay growth is based on the service of the community that surrounds it. There are rules, plus buyers and sellers evaluate each other. It's easy to decide if I want to risk purchasing something from a seller, based on their ratings. Google Base lacks any such functionality for the moment. Potentially, it could come -- but it's not there yet.

How about Monster?

I don't do any hiring, but the disadvantage of Google Base for 'job search' is immediate. Looking for a job? Google Base gives you one single box -- that's it. Perhaps entering something like ‘web design jobs in Virginia beach’ will ultimately work to get you a listing of all jobs appropriate to that. But it might come back with false matches. One example of this was where Google Base brought back matches for ‘freelance web designers’.

Google Base Summary

Google Base is a way for Google to let anyone upload information to Google about anything. That's the master plan. Exactly how that master plan will unfold isn't clear. Maybe there won't be any particular date types that are uploaded. Maybe it really will turn into a great place for those with classified listings that will lead to a dedicated spin-off service. The overall goal seems to be put this tool out there and see what people make of it.

Google SEO : Sandbox, TrustRank, Jagger Update

- The Jagger update seems to have taken the aging factor and combined the TrustRank factor into one, forming a new age for Google.

In other words, sites have to reach a certain age AND acquire relevant links from authoritative sources. Further those links must also be aged before they are attributed to your site.
As you can see, Jagger is quite the update – forcing not only quantity but quality.

You need to have both a sufficient number of quality aged content pages as well as a sufficient number of properly aged relevant links.
Jagger is doing what Google has been striving for ever since the Florida update 1 year ago. That is to make the index more relevant than ever.

By forcing sites to endure an aging delay (also called the “Sandbox”) it is attempting to ensure that a site is indeed worthy of joining its regular index.
Also, it is assuming that those sites which are related will want to link to each other without reciprocating links. In other words, you will want to link to another site because it offers more relevant information to your site visitors, and not because it will help artificially boost your rankings.

Further the update also ensures your site is worthy because it assumes that only those that link to you will do so because it’s worthy.

How to work in this new age of Google

Obviously a new site will probably take much longer to get out of this age delayed “sandbox”. There are ways to make the delay shorter, however. Those include building links from highly authoritative relevant sites.

Now before you go saying “how the heck do I find those” remember that there are a couple directories which Google still considers important – Yahoo! And the Open Directory Project, also known as DMOZ.org.

Granted there are issues with both. With Yahoo! You have to pay to get reviewed but that doesn’t guarantee you’ll be included. You could spend $300 and never get your site into Yahoo! Directory.

The ODP also has it’s problems ranging from slow update schedule to corrupt editors. Granted the group is trying to clean up its image but I’ve found in the past that unless you know someone on the inside it can take months if not years to get included.

Finally, even when you do get included in these and other related directories you still are subject to that aging delay. Aging happens when Google finds the link and not when the link is added to the directory page.

In other words it could be a few days or weeks from when the link is added before Google discovers it.

On the content side you also run into similar issues.

While its great to have an always growing site, you must architect your navigation so that new content is discovered earlier to help it work through the aging delay.

I know this sounds like an overwhelming task, and to an e-commerce site this can be particularly troubling especially when the bills begin to pile up and your site still isn’t found in Google, but remember that Google isn’t the only engine out there. Granted it can account for between 35% and 50% or your traffic, but the other engines combined will account for that other 50% to 70%. And Yahoo! And MSN are much less picky at who they allow in the index.
So if you handle your content development and link building properly – that is staying away from link exchanges and link farms, your site will eventually get out of the “sandbox” and into the index.

Also, keep your eyes open for related sites. Perhaps you’ve written an article on something new, or provided commentary about the current state of your industry. You could always submit that article, or a link to it, to other industry specific sites.

Consider reviewing industry blogs as well. They can be a great source of links.

Finally, make sure that the site is always growing and improving. A growing site helps increase your internal links which has a positive effect on link popularity, PageRank and TrustRank.

Also ensure to keep building those links. Even if you aren’t entirely sure of a link’s quality, take the time to request it anyways.

After all, if it isn’t relevant Google will filter it.