The October Hunt For Google Base

    October 30, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Froogle’s replacement, Google Base, has been missing in action from the Google search results, but some sleuthing may have turned up the elusive service.

The October Hunt For Google Base
The October Hunt For Google Base

"You speak Russian."
"A little. It is wise to study the ways of one's adversary. Don't you think?"
"It is."

-- Captain Ramius and Jack Ryan confer on the value of knowing one enemy, The Hunt for Red October

Figuring out the hidden meanings of what Google does, or just speculating on what we think the company may be doing, has proven a source of countless stories and blog postings. Not everyone speaks the language of the search companies, but for those who do, answers may be found.

Google’s plans for its Base service have proven an exercise in frustration for people who have been migrated from the older Froogle service to the gleaming expanses of the new product. Ina Steiner writing at AuctionBytes posted about this on her blog:

Currently if you do a search on for “ice cream maker,” you’ll see something called “Product search results for ice cream maker” at the top of the search results directly underneath the sponsored links. Clicking on the hyperlink still brings you to Froogle results, not Google Base results.

So where do Google Base items show up? When I go to to look for Google Base, I don’t even see it listed among all of Google’s properties.

If you go to, you won’t find a search box. You have to click on a type of item, such as “Products,” then you’ll be taken to a Google Base search page for that kind of item.

Finding Google Base results in the Onebox section of Google has been less fruitful than the hunt for Krasny Oktyabr in the North Atlantic. Fortunately on the Internet, we have Googling Google blogger Garett Rogers willing to take on the Jack Ryan role and plunge into Google’s cold watery depths to find it:

…I found exactly what I was looking for – so my answer to Ina is: “right here“. The inclusion of “/base/s2” in the robots.txt soon after Google’s announcement led me directly to the coming product.

The new search tool has two new result formats to choose from – grid and map – but personally I’m not in love with either of them. They all seem disorganized to me.

If this is supposed to be used to search for products, I’m confused about the inclusion of things like MySpace pages that don’t sell anything. Searching for “iPod” is completely useless if you are looking to purchase one.

Google’s answer to its Base (nee Froogle) users with the holiday shopping season rapidly approaching has been one of silence so far. With retailers itching for Halloween to pass so they can get all of their holiday displays out in force, and the calendar counting down to Thanksgiving, we won’t be surprised to see Google announce something for this in the coming weeks.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.