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Google Offers--Just Another Groupon?

 

Last week I wrote a post about Google Local Portal in Portland, available on DealerOn’s blog.  If you’ve already read it, you might have seen mention of Google's new service for businesses: Google Offers.  Google Offers appears to be similar to Groupon and other discount offering services -- it allows you, as a small business owner, to get your business "in front of thousands of customers in your area looking for amazing deals on the best places to eat, shop and play."

Google hasn’t given too much detail, but they have setup a group of "Google Offers specialists" to call or email.  They will "ask all the right questions about your business to help create an attractive offer that is best for you".  Then, as with similar services, an offer will be emailed to subscribers in your area.

It's unclear whether or not these Offers will be integrated into regular Google Local search or their integrated search results pages.  I can't imagine that these Offer icons won't begin to show on maps and next to Places search results in the near future, but I can't find an example of that anywhere.  Feel free to add a link in comments if you are able to.

Here are the cities that have Offers, and those that are coming soon:

Also, Google has produced videos aimed both at businesses and consumers.  Links below.

Google Offers for Businesses
Google Offers for Consumers

Want to sign up?  Click this link to have Google contact you to participate in Google Offers BETA.

There has been some discussion on whether or not using these deal sites can be a successful endeavor for auto dealerships.  To me, unless they integrate fully with Google search results, Google Offers is just another Groupon.  Do you think Google Offers will be any different from Groupon and others?

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