Google Base Learning


I’ve been disappointed with the release of Google Product Search because it’s simply working off of the old Froogle algorithm and the limited refinement options listed at the bottom of the page mean that attribute refinement isn’t a focus at this point.

However, something is afoot over at Google Base. As I’ve said for a while, Google will never be an expert in Snowboards, Makita Tools, Diamonds, or Chandeliers, but that doesn’t mean Google won’t try to learn.

As seen in the following screen shots, Google is now trying to understand more about the products in a feed through playing a game of 20 questions:

google base 20 questions

google base 20 questions

These questions seem to be coming up for soft goods such as Jewelry. For instance, here’s Google trying to understand words like ‘silver’, ‘heart’, ‘charm’, etc.:

google base 20 questions

google base jewelry search

Google Base Product Search

google base

No word from the Google Base Blog how answering these questions will impact your feed or the rankings of your products on Base or Product Search (which work off of different algorithms), but the note at the bottom of each question says “a record of your answers will be retained by Google and used to improve the quality of your feed as well as our own product and services.” We’ll see.

Maybe Google Base realized that creating proper feeds is too hard for the average merchant so Google Base is going to have to figure out product attributes on its own.

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One Response to Google Base Learning

  1. Winooski says:

    This should be a big deal, no? I’m surprised that more people haven’t picked up on this story yet. Google is soliciting users of Google Base to help it categorize entries by offering guesses, which reminds me of the old game, “20 Questions”. (“Is it bigger than a breadbox?”…”Is it something you’d have in the house?”…)

    Kudos for covering this. Someday soon, this conversational style of classifying data records via user input may the top tool that people use to refine their Google searches.

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