Google is rumoured to be working on a new product that is a combination between eBay and AdWords. It is rumoured that Automat will source information from paying customers and Google Base, a beta program that allows users to post any kind of information to the web and host it freely on Google’s servers. Early users of Google Base reported that it was feature rich and allowed them to post detailed product information. Forbes reports on Google Automat after spying a recent patent application.
Google Automat is a potential new offering that would enable individuals and other small advertisers to quickly and efficiently advertise their items on the Web. The first diagram in the patent application states, “Advertise Your Items for Sale on Google in Under 1 Minute with Google Automat.”
If the rumour that Google is entering the classifieds market bears any truth, we can expect to see them heavily monetize their offering with AdWords closely integrated. The thing about this is that they are really going to piss off quite a few big newspapers who make a significant percentage of their revenue from classified ads. Looking around various big online papers, many have already moved to use Yahoo! Search. If Google move in and start erroding their revenue stream you can be assured that more will drop Google and move to Yahoo! or MSN.
I just wonder how long Google’s brand can continue to be watered down. They are no longer just search, that’s clear. Advertising, news, videos, books, IM and rumours of moves into VoIP, WiFi and now classifieds all scream one thing – Google are a spreading themselves thin. The ‘Google brand’ is built on search, that’s what got them where they are now. It just seems to me that all they care to search for now is another revenue stream.
Don’t get me wrong but I question the logic in opting to rub yet another industry up the wrong way while watering down a strong brand, let alone how they will
integrate clutter their search results with classified ads?