Yesterday, Google announced the launch of the Google Merchant Centre, a replacement for Google Base - at least from the admin point of view.
Those submitting products to Google will now use the Google Merchant Centre to submit product feeds, check on the status of items and check which products are performing best.
While Google Base is still available, Google recommends the Merchant Centre for uploading product feeds as it is better optimised for product listings. The Merchant Centre is also where Google is going to be introducing any future innovative features to product listings - so those wanting to ensure their product listings are receiving the maximum exposure and latest input will be encouraged to make the move to the Merchant Centre.
Although this is a new product, Google has kept features - particularly relating to the interface - as similar as possible to Google Base in order to make the switch over as easy as possible. Those switching over will also be able to use the same information they used for Google Base, namely login details, FTP settings and current data feeds.
All in all, the switch over to Google Merchant Centre should be quite simple and Google staff are actively aiding those in need of help both through their forums and behind the scenes.
What is likely to happen to Google Base? It's unlikely Google will stop the program completely, at least in the next 12 months. More likely is that Google is gradually going to try and move everyone over to their new system and during the process gradually let Google Base fade into the background.
Subscribers to the Google Base blog who are making the move to the Merchant Centre can find more information about making the move and any future updates to the Merchant Centre at the new Google Merchant Blog.