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Help Wanted on Google Base

Job site didn't get a chance to interact with any Google employee before placing ads on Google Base, said Maria Slabaugh, the company's director of marketing. The company's ads hadn't been on the site long enough for her to gauge their effectiveness.

"I am looking forward to seeing new versions of Google Base to see how they improve it,'' she said in an interview. As it exists now, the service is "not going to bring you one click away from the perfect job."

Google Base may ad to the mounting woes of the newspaper industry, particularly if it can win over companies such as car dealers and realtors along with employment recruitment advertising. All of these industries are expected to boost online spending, said Peter Conti, a vice president with Borrell Associates, a research firm that monitors local media spending.

The service is going to threaten some newspapers more than others. Some papers such as New York City's Village Voice already allow some people to advertise in their classified sections for free.

"They may thrive, but we will continue to thrive because we have an audience that's attracted to our content, not just our classifieds," says Kara Walsh, vice president of online for the weekly newspaper.

A recent review of Google Base found that four of 10 entries under the profiles category during a recent search originated from pornographic Web sites. While these ads are also found on craigslist, on that service they are separated from others with warnings about their content.

Google Base's products group also features listings that appear to have been redirected by a third party to (AMZN - Get Report). An Amazon spokeswoman says the company has no agreement with Google Base to provide listings.

''The Google Base content is afforded legitimacy by the fact that it is Google," said Ron Baklarz, vice president of security research at Computer Associates (CA). "Users may be duped into visiting malicious and fraudulent Web sites as they would by conducting searches through any search-engine service."

Google is counting on Google Base to help it gain access to content on the Web that it wouldn't be able to get otherwise, says Greg Sterling, an analyst with the Kelsey Group.

"They designed it to be a content vacuum," he says. "I don't know how you police that."
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