This Monday Google launched a new face for Google Base called Google Merchant Center which allows ecommerce businesses to upload product feeds to Google so individual products are searchable via Google Product Search (once known as Froogle).
I am not sure what drove the reasoning behind this transition but the new name definitely makes more sense to the average user. Google also removed the “beta” element of the Google Base logo which is another indication that Google Merchant Center is the polished edition of Google Base.
Here are the benefits of Google Merchant Center as noted on the brand spanking new home page:
As far as I know there is no change in terms of the benefits offered using this service over Google Base except that Google claims it “should” be easier to use. That said, I don’t claim to be a Google Base expert by any means. If you have any input on this please feel free to comment and inform your fellow readers.
Is Google Base beta Completely Gone? No, Google has stated that there are still users that need to upload non-product data who will be using Google Base for now as it has some facilities that Google Merchant Center does not currently have. To quote Google’s blog post on the subject:
Google Base is still available for other types of structured content, but the Merchant Center provides a better, optimized experience specifically for product listings. The Merchant Center is where we’ll continue adding features and improving the tools for uploading and managing product listings.
That said, I expect Google Base will be phased out as soon as possible since the the new name “Google Merchant Center” does not preclude integrating the non-product submissions in the near future – and why bother having to maintain two merchant access points?