Google Base aims to turn Google into the single source for any site where you’d ever search, raising a middle finger to every vertical search and local information site in the process.
Berkowitz says that while the new service could potentially be a major threat to eBay, Craigslist and other auction and classified services, a lot of potential obstacles remain.
There are, of course, many obstacles to this goal. For one, each of the other sites mentioned has developed a strong following for any number of reasons, and all have built a high degree of trust with their users. Whether it’s appreciating the free shipping and recommendation engines at Amazon, the auction system at eBay, the stark look and feel of Craigslist, or the content at CNET, people have a relationship with these properties that won’t be easily replicated.
Google Base will probably tie into other Google initiatives, including local search, Froogle, the anticipated online payment system it’s developing to rival eBay’s PayPal, and the Wi-Fi network rollout (first San Francisco, then the world). It will require coordinated efforts unlike anything Google has had to attempt to date. Some of its services are connected, as Google News and Froogle listings sometimes appear atop the engine’s natural search results, but that is nowhere nearly as complicated as the operation Google will need to pull off with Google Base.