Jinfo BlogDoes Google Have a Deal For Us? Yes!

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By Jan Knight

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Google Offers Google Offers! No typos here. Google is looking to jump on the “Do I have a deal for you!” bandwagon. Two days ago Google announced (aka leaked) that it will soon launch Google Offers, a new service to compete with group discount coupon/voucher sites such as Groupon (http://www.groupon.com http://www.groupon.co.uk) and LivingSocial (http://www.livingsocial.com). Being a subscriber to both sites and loving a deal I’m eager for the launch.

Google has confirmed that they are looking for “new ways to connect businesses with new customers” and Groupon, valued at close to $8 billion, recently turned down a $6 billion buyout offer from Google, so the company’s desire to jump on this latest bandwagon has been obvious.

Google Offers will work the same way as the other players. Subscribers will receive daily email offers of discounted purchases and services. The businesses offering the deals attract new customers and gain visibility. Note, there are some companies who have not benefited from offering its wares on Groupon but that’s a topic of another column!

Successful companies often grow by emulating other successes. As Tim Buckley Owen wrote recently, both Hoovers and Experian have announced new social media initiatives and now because Google doesn’t want to be left out of one of the more successful ways that people are finding deals it’s adding to its own product line.

Last week Information Week ran an article, ‘Social Network Frenzy Signals Another Tech Bubble” (http://digbig.com/5bdfxe). The concern over such high valuations for companies like Groupon, Facebook and Twitter is discussed and raises the caution about the potential domino effect on other Web 2.0 companies. It also cites the need to have different ways in which to measure success and value of these types of companies, basically suggesting that conventional metrics and business models don’t fit.

While I understand that maybe I’m looking at these businesses from a too traditional perspective, I have to wonder about specialisation, weren’t we taught that it’s best to be really good at something – maybe one thing? Who am I to say that the Google Offers won’t be great? It probably will be and I certainly don’t mean to offer the suggestion that they are a “jack of all trades and master of none”, in fact I’ll probably be one of their first subscribers. Maybe I’m just finding it hard to keep up with exactly who is doing what in the online commerce/social media field. I’m eagerly awaiting a B2B coupon/voucher site to be created! (Hmm. Possibly a new venture).

By the way, for those not as familiar with how Groupon and Living Social actually work, just Google them both! Google, we must remember, is still a search engine!

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