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Report: Google Preparing Groupon Competitor: Google Offers

 11:31 am on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Report: Google Preparing Groupon Competitor: Google Offers [mashable.com]
Google is preparing to launch Google Offers, the search giant’s Groupon competitor,
One of our sources has sent us a confidential fact sheet straight from the Googleplex about the company’s new group buying service. “Google Offers is a new product to help potential customers and clientele find great deals in their area through a daily email,” the fact sheet says.

Google Offers looks and operates much like Groupon or LivingSocial. Users receive an e-mail with a local deal-of-the-day. They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit (we assume 24 hours). Once enough people have made the purchase, the Google Offer is triggered and users get that all-too-familiar $10 for $20 deal for that Indian restaurant you’ve never tried.

From what we can tell, Google Offers will be powered by Google Checkout. It also includes Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz and e-mail sharing options.



 3:40 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Besides the obvious smackdown with Groupon and LivingSocial, and the growing spectre of Google directly competing with every company that ever helped to fund G's global domination effort by paying G for clicks, how's this for a side story:

"News flash! Email, resurrected! Email once again popular, brought back to life by businesses streaming "special offers" and "deals" to email in-boxes."

Can't wait to receive my "50% off Spam" coupon. Sign me up!

[edited by: Webwork at 3:55 pm (utc) on Jan 21, 2011]


 3:47 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

lol I hate all the Groupon ads and I just don't see it working, but what do I know.

GOOG really is like a crazy, jealous female.


 3:53 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I get enough spam and don't use groupon, nor am I inclined to respond well to special offers on anything I don't currently need, so I sincerely hope I don't see unsolicited offers appearing in my gmail account. I guess gmail IS a free service but still...

With kids nearly old enough to surf on their own I am becoming more sensitive to the force feeding of "buy buy buy" offers they will be subjected to. I can't be the only one who sees announcements like this and cringes ?!

edit: I also see it as a mistake to continually label things "Google" anything given the growing concern about the behemoth company, privacy etc. Like Starbucks should Google be simply giving new products a unique name instead of pushing the Google brand on everything ?

[edited by: Sgt_Kickaxe at 3:57 pm (utc) on Jan 21, 2011]


 3:55 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

The only way it wouild be acceptable is with an opt-in, imho.


 5:28 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

The only way this will work is if Google breaks from their model of having no way to contact a real person for support when you are in need of a fix.

A great part of Groupon's success comes from the fact that you can pick up the phone and a human will answer your call and resolve your issues.

I have never heard of a Google run service that offers this level of customer service. Without it, IMO, they will fail


 6:13 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

The local media here, in an attempt to stop from failing utterly, is doing something similiar. Every day when I read the paper I'm bombarded with multiple full page ads barking about their deals of the day. I'm frankly sick of it.

Worse, they're doing so by using self depreciating humor that comes across as infantile. "Even we know that's a good deal!111!".

I expect Google's results will be similiar. Lots of splash then a big flop. (though I'm not going too far off the end by suggesting a new Google product will fail, am I?).

In fact - perhaps the end of Google's dominance won't come from another search engine. Perhaps they will actually get hit by someone from the advertising end of things. That is where they make all their money.


 7:08 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

oh great, another perma-beta flop from MV


 7:21 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Every move like this just alienates more webmasters from supporting Google.


 8:43 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I actually think this is one area google can do very well in if they execute well. They have the largest advertising client base in the world. Add this offer feature to Adwords and away they go.

Groupon sends us an email a day. Google will be showing deals in SERPS everytime you search. They can really make a killing if they get it setup and scaled properly.


 10:27 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

yep, that should stop some of the groupon euphoria. other than a reputable search engine or social network, groupon's business model is comparatively easily copyable.


 10:31 pm on Jan 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't think this is the most productive move by Google either. But you have to remember who their target audience is.

IMO, we (users who frequent WW) are a bunch of web-mastering, IT, computer-lovin', search-optimizin', VMWarin', cable-splicin', OS-tweakin', tech-heads. Google isn't creating a Groupon competitor for us--it's for the same people who love Groupon. That audience will determine whether it's a success or a failure. And as Demaestro pointed out, Google can certainly write their own pink slip if they don't provide adequate support.


 3:56 am on Jan 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wonder when they'll retire it. I'll give it 6 months after launch. Support and Google can't be used in the same sentence.


 1:33 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Users receive an e-mail with a local deal-of-the-day. They then have the opportunity to buy that deal within a specific time limit ...

Certainly there's a difference I'm failing to see or care about, but this is spam.


 6:02 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

What's wrong with Google being just a, you know, search engine?

Oh yeah, Wall St wants even more billions out of them, er, out of us.


 7:12 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

To me,this looks like sour grapes on Google's part. A few months back they wanted to BUY Groupon and were rebuffed. "Well, if you won't sell, we'll copy it!", er... No Evil Done...Imitation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery.
nudge, nudge, wink, wink


 8:36 am on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

tangor, my thoughts exactly.

If you can't buy .... hmmm, beat them,
join them ;o)


 2:33 pm on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow, what happened to "Don't Be Evil" Google?

Groupon refuses to sell their company to Google so Google just steals their idea?



 8:35 pm on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Frontpage - they have always been evil at the deepest level you can possibly think of - you just may not have seen it - like millions of others.

At the end of the day its just goofle showing once again how crap they are at coming up with new ideas.


 10:25 pm on Jan 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

If it requires real people to offer support then it won't be something that Google succeeds at. The race to the bottom (coupons, discounts) continues and the cash continues to flow out of local communities. Pretty soon there will be no such thing as "retail" or even a profitable price in most markets unless you're selling online ads or getting small and medium sized businesses to pay your to sell their product for $0.25 on the dollar.


 2:14 am on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is such a predatory move I'm surprised the DOJ hasn't stepped in yet.

There should be a big long grace period between offering to buy Groupon vs offering to take them head-on and destroy their business.

If there was a serious Groupon offer made, just how much did Google learn about Groupon's operations during that process?

The reason I wonder about this is that I've sat across the table from Microsoft in a couple of similar meetings in my past and M$ wanted to know way too much technical information before making a tender offer to start due diligence IMO at which point we got all cagey for obvious reasons.

Hope Groupon was smart enough to do the same and wasn't so thrilled it was Google that came knock'n that they prematurely opened the kimono and showed too much.


 3:13 am on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is such a predatory move I'm surprised the DOJ hasn't stepped in yet.

lol, on what basis should they step in? Google tendered a generous offer to buy another already established company to help with them entering that market. Groupon turned down that offer. So now if a company rejects an offer made by a competitor that competitor can't compete in that sphere? Of course Groupon probably released some sensitive information during the due process...that's the risk they take by entertaining that offer.


 3:44 am on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

on what basis should they step in?

Predatory anti-competitive behavior, enough is enough, really.

If Google planned to compete with them head-on then they shouldn't have tendered an offer, at a minimum someone should slap them on the wrists and give them a 12 month grace period before being allowed to go after Groupon.


 2:11 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

HA, goog can't out right buy you? ok then they'll try to knock you off.

but we all know goog isn't very good at creating things from scratch and if they don't buy it, it most likely fails.


 6:10 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Groupon has proved that this kind of business works.

Now, if only G would learn, and not call its products Google Something Something.

If Google Offers fails it would be just because of the name! How about just calling it Gooffers? A real name makes the product more appealing (even if my name isn't that great ;)


 6:37 pm on Jan 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Predatory anti-competitive behavior, enough is enough, really.

Maybe if there weren't already competition from Living Social I might agree. But seeing how Amazon helped LS kick Groupon's butt last week it looks like some pretty good competition exists.

And I kind of look at that Amazon coupon as a warning shot across Google Offer's bow as it came just as talk of Offers started to surface. Not sure how G really expects to compete in this arena.


 12:41 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

This is such a predatory move I'm surprised the DOJ hasn't stepped in yet.

The DOJ under Eric Holder will be reticent to do anything to Google as they were major campaign donors to the Obama Admin and Google staffers are in the Obama Admin.

Can't kill that cash cow, you know.


1) Google in listed as the top 5 donor to Obama.

2) Six Google executives, including CEO Eric Schmidt and cofounder Larry Page, have donated $25,000 apiece to fund President Barack Obama's swearing-in party.

3) Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive, has been a close adviser to President Obama’s transition team and is now a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

4) Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s head of global public policy, left the company to join the Obama administration.

5) Katie Stanton, a former Google project manager, joined the White House as its director of citizen participation.

6) Sonal Shah, former head of global development at Google.org, now heads the White House Office of Social Innovation.

7) Sumit Agarwal, who was head of Google’s mobile product management and has become the deputy assistant secretary of defense for outreach and social media in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense.


 6:56 am on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is going to have a big problem getting traction with small businesses on this unless they dedicate the resources to put salespeople on the ground in all major metro areas to go out and get the deals. If they don't make that commitment this will die on the vine like Buzz and Wave...but at least they have 31st mover advantage :)


 2:29 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just how white do they think your teeth need to be?

Google could clear up if they offer vouchers for different things apart from endless beauty treatments.

Well that's all I seem to get. Hope it's not just me.


 10:44 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google will fail miserly in this dept because customer service is non-existent at Google. Algorithms and automation is the only thing Google is good at.

imo, G Offers will tarnish their brand.

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