Google Base: not your father’s craigslist

November 19th, 2005

Editor and Publisher has an article on a Goldman Sachs report on the potential impact of Google Base on an important revenue source for newspapers — local classified ads.

Goldman: Economic Implications of Google Base ‘Will Be Dramatic’
By Jennifer Saba, November 17, 2005

NEW YORK Google’s foray into the classified category is still nascent,
but if Google Base takes off, it could be a huge threat to newspapers,
said a report released today from Goldman Sachs. It’s “yet another
challenge to the hegemony of newspaper publishers in the classified
market,” wrote Peter Appert, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. …

The article cites the percent of revenue that some of the larger MSM corporations get from classified ads:

Journal Register Co. 32.5%
Knight Ridder 31.2%
McClatchy 30.9%
Gannett 29.3%
Media General 23.6%
Lee Enterprises 22.2%
Tribune 21.0%
The New York Times Co. 18.4%
Journal Communications 10.3%
E.W. Scripps 9.6%
Washington Post Co. 2.4%

It has been reported that craigslist rendered the San Francisco Chronicle unprofitable largely by defection of classified advertising. If Google Base is successful, it should be able to offer services for classified ads that go far beyond craigslist and similar systems. This will be especially true if it truely does evolve into a system with semantics.