Google Maps Launches 'Coupon' Feature

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Google Maps Launches 'Coupon' FeatureGoogle Maps will be offering printable coupons for everything from pizza to car washes as they make a move designed to appeal to peoples' appetites for a bargain. Also, Google is also providing an easier way for merchants to understand the impact of their online presence by allowing them to better track online leads that convert offline.

What Google's

Google Maps will be offering printable coupons for everything from pizza to car washes as they make a move designed to appeal to peoples' appetites for a bargain. Also, and in addition to offering a service to Google Map users, Google is also providing an easier way for merchants to understand the impact of their online presence by allowing them to better track online leads that convert offline... which is one of the major purposes of Google's Maps and Local Search divisions.

Under the conditions of this new service, a search for "Day Spas in New York" will display business listings that match those terms alongside a map. If any Day Spas are offering coupons, a link accompanying the listing will take people to a separate web page where the coupon can be printed. The coupon can then be redeemed in person at the business location... which to sum up my point will assist merchants, in addition to the customers, by providing them some basis of how their local search campaigns are doing.

Here are a few snap-shots of this new service:

What Google's What Google's

Beginning as early as this morning, Google Maps users will see coupons from the more than 12,000 advertisers who offer printable online coupons. As of right now, it appears that any and all merchants are eligible to sign up to offer coupons, at no charge, on Google Maps at Google's Local Business Center. Google will also begin offering in coming months the ability for businesses that purchase AdWords search-related keywords to send people who click on the ads to a page containing a coupon hosted by Google Maps.

My Thoughts

In the traditional offline world, coupons drive a lot of business, and they haven't been well-explored online. What Google has done here is provided a very valuable marketing tool for local businesses and it doesn't cost anything beyond the discount given to customers.

For the longest time, online maps from Google and rivals Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have been racing to offer the most bells and whistles to attract more user-eyeballs that can then be fed advertisements. With that in mind, "Bravo" goes to you Google for being the first major map provider to offer coupons, which will not only appeal to cost-conscious consumers but also offer advertisers a reliable way to gauge the success of an ad campaign.

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