Google Automat to Spew Classifieds?

by admin November 9, 2005 at 8:32 am

Google’s rumored classifieds service is not only in the works, it’s patent-pending, according to analyst firm Classified Intelligence.

Analyst John Zappe discovered the patent application, which includes screen shots for Google Purchases and, as well as an interface for posting classified ads.

Zappe said the program, tentatively called Google Automat, is a system for letting novice sellers develop and post classified ads that can be accessed through search and also placed on other Web sites as Google AdSense ads.

A key component would be Google’s ability to upsell classified ads, according to Peter Zollman, executive editor of the Classified Intelligence Report. “The way you make money with free classifieds is through add-on services,” he told “Google will be able to offer contextual advertising next to the classifieds but also, they could give you the option of paying more to have it displayed at the top of the list or with pictures or something like that.”

The service would likely make use of Google Base, the online database that briefly went live on October 26. After a user entered information about the product or service, Automat could generate either a standalone Web page with the merchandise information or a text ad.

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