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Google Testing Possible EBay Competition

Google confirmed that it's testing a new searchable database service, called Google Base. Google is providing few details, but the service was online several hours and at least one alert blogger snapped a screenshot.

Google on Tuesday confirmed it is testing a new service called Google Base, which could someday offer services that compete with EBay Inc.

The Google Base site was up for a short time Tuesday before it was taken down. Some bloggers, however, managed to capture a screenshot.

A company spokeswoman confirmed that the Mountain View, Calif.-based, search engine was testing a new service, but offered very few details.

"We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which will complement existing methods such as Web crawl and the Google Sitemaps program," she said in an email.

Google Sitemaps are tools the search engine offers to Web site operators to help improve their coverage in the search engine's index.

In a description on the Google Base site, the company described the service as "Google's database into which you can add all types of content."

"We'll host your content and make it searchable online for free," the site said.

Among the items listed as examples of what could be submitted were used cars, descriptions of a party planning service and a "database of protein structures."

The service could put Google in competition with online auctioneer EBay Inc., which recently bought a minority share of Craigslist Inc., a classified listings site, observers say. EBay, based in San Jose, Calif., bought a 25 percent stake in San Francisco-based Craigslist, which covers a wide range of categories from jobs and apartments to used cars and personals.

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