by Chris Horton
Many people were quick to see the writing on the wall for the real estate listings that Google was posting. Brian McClendon who is the VP of Google Earth and Maps made a statement about that functionality and said, “In part due to low usage, the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites, and the infrastructure challenge posed by the impending retirement of the Google Base API (used by listing providers to submit listings), we’ve decided to discontinue the real estate feature within Google Maps on February 10, 2011.”
But in case you missed it, he said, “the impending retirement of the Google Base API“. For those not familiar with Google Base, thousands of businesses use this to upload their product databases of what could be thousands of products into Google’s databases. Those products then would show up in Google Base searches, Froogle and even in some cases product listings in normal Google searches when a search was product related, i.e. someone searching for Tickle me Elmo or Shammy 12 packs (or any search that is obviously a searcher looking for a product).
Many speculated over a year ago that Google Base would die anyway with the fast approaching “Google Merchant Center”, but until now it has been just that. Speculation. If your business does truly rely on Google Base as part of its online strategy, make sure that you read up on the new changes. And definitely make sure you check your messages area when you log in. Some users are already reporting messages from Google informing them of changes that directly affect them such as attribute alterations to their datafeeds. You have been warned. Again…