But is it open?

Rafat has a few more details or prognostications about Google Base and the latest, a patent for Google Automat:

Automat creates a contextual ad identical in appearance to Google AdWords, which now run down the right side of every Google search-results page. Automat can create a free-standing Web page to serve as the product description page.

Here’s what I really want to know: If you create a listing, ad, or piece of content using this functionality, will it be addressable on the web? That is, will it be scrapable and searchable via other means? So if I create a job ad using whatever Google calls its geegaw, can Indeed find it? If I create, say, a restaurant listing and tag it as Mexican/New Jersey (something that’s too rare, by the way), will Technorati pick up the tags and IceRocket the text?

Google wants the rest of the world to put its stuff online to be searchable by Google. Will the stuff Google creates be searchable by everyone else? If it is, good. If not, you know what I’ll call it. Starts with an e…

  • http://www.our-hometown.com Stephen Larson

    Prediction: Google will not answer that question, it may be open and others may scrape but Google will retain the right to change the game at any time.

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  • Soind
  • http://hollowtreestudios.blogger.com/ Zeno Izen

    What they’re trying to do here is to create recursive-ad vortexes on the net, which will suck users in and turn every click into a penny. This alone will make Google so much fast money that competition will be irrelevant.

    Slick move.

  • http://www.mashable.com Pete Cashmore

    Jeff,

    Yes, this may be Google’s attempt to own some content for a change – it’s very easy to switch search engines, but if Google could own data that the other engines can’t index, they’ll put themselves ahead of the game. Of course, this would also make them look like utter hypocrites, as you point out, by trying to index everyone else’s data for free while keeping their own data under lock and key.

    Even if the data is open to the world (and they may be forced to do this if they don’t want to be branded “evil” yet again), they will still seek out an advantage to owning this data in a highly structured form – probably by tying it in to services like Adwords, Google Accounts, Google Wallet and the like. This level of integration would increase switching costs for most users – it’s something that Yahoo has done well, but Google has yet to master..

  • moogle

    Google does not currently offer an open platform and likely will not in the future.

    Google video is a good example. They transcode the video into the proprietary FLV format, embed it into a SWF ( Flash ) media player, and then address this file with a hash key that’s too long to be linkable in a presentation context. The result is a non-portable, proprietized, media asset that presents less value to the content owner, and larger web community, than the same asset in almost any other storage and delivery context.

    For an alternative, and much more community and developer friendly approach see video.yahoo.com and MediaRSS – these actually add value.

    prediction: people are going to realize that google isn’t run be ewoks and begin to question whether it’s appropriate to vest so much personal information with a black box.

  • http://coalitionoftheswilling.net Mr. Bingley

    Mexican/New Jersey

    Try La Chalupa in Red Bank; it’s right across from the train station. Real mexican food (it’s where the mexicans in town eat).

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  • Impacted Colon

    Don’t eat mexican food where mexican eat!! Like almost all “ethnic food,” it’s much better after it’s been americanized. I know, I’m mexican: in Mexico, there’s no chimichangas, a burrito is a small donkey, they would never put sour cream in a taco, etc., etc.

  • Andrew

    If you think Google deserves anything go to their search engine – type “failure” and then search it with “I’m feeling lucky” Who at Google thought this was a clever idea?

  • http://bigdirigible.com big dirigible

    Ouch, I think the only thing more noxious than “authentic Mexican” is “authentic Chinese”. Authentic Chinese cooks can do great things with authentic road kill, but do you really want to take the family out for some of it?

    As for Google, the sooner we all realize it’s overrated as a search engine, the better off all of us (except Google, of course) will be. Google still has some images listed which I took down a year ago. Just how often is that database updated, anyway?

  • http://ofbrons.blogspot.com Out4Blood

    While clearly off-topic, I have disagree with the recent posters. By far the best Mexican food I’ve ever had was in Mexico. In authentic Mexican restaurants. Cooked by Mexican chefs.

    Since my exceptional gastronomic experiences in Mexico, I have searched far and wide for comparable food in the US, but have been sorely disappointed.

  • David Mercer

    Google are already hypocrits in this fashion: they don’t give programmatic access to their database(s) without $$ per api call. The Google API is sooo useless as a result. But if you think about google as an ad delivery company primarily, this makes sense from their point of view. If your program searchs google through the api, you don’t see the ads.

    I think by ‘do no evil’ they really mean ‘do nothing that would drag eyeballs away from google hosted ads’.