'Google Offers' Launched As LivingSocial Passes Groupon

Last week was a hectic one for the popular coupon sites. Google announced their clone of Groupon - Google Offers - and LivingSocial passed Groupon as the most visited site in the niche.

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The increase in traffic to LivingSocial could be tied to their very popular offer of a $20 voucher for Amazon being sold for $10. The offer sold over 1.3 million coupons and gave the site some problems, according to Tech Journal South.

Apparently, "some people who shared the deal said they were charged more than once. Others said they received a message they tried to sign up for the deal more than once. Others said they got the email but did not find the discount code," TJS reported.

This level of success, however, makes it clear why Google is rushing to launch its "Google Offers". If Amazon - who recently invested $175 million in LivingSocial - can garner 1.3 million people to this offer, many of whom may never have used Amazon before, the potential for the coupon space just got a lot more interesting.

"From what we can tell", Mashable reported in an exclusive article, "Google Offers will be powered by Google Checkout. It also includes Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, Google Buzz and e-mail sharing options".

If they get the same type of response as the Amazon deal, Checkout will gain a lot of new users - something Google has not been able to popularize as much as they would want.

There has been mention that LivingSocial affiliates have been using adware to get sign ups. "LivingSocial has a huge CPA campaign that is all over affiliate networks that pays people per new signup. What better way to get people to sign up that pop up a signup form on a competitors website, in this case Groupon," IndustryPace reported.

The Google Offers info can be seen at Scribd, part of which can be seen below.

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This space will be a popular one this year. I use Jack Threads a site with clothes and accessories for men - that was acquired last year by Thrillist - a guide to things cool - well fun anyway. The adapting of the offers to the right audience is the key to success. Obviously everyone will take $20 dollars for $10 at Amazon - the question is will Google start offering more than discounts at the local Chinese restaurant or are such offers the way to really make the online coupon industry work.

Google has the reach, now we will have to wait and see if this is something the soon-to-be CEO Larry Page will be interesting in pursuing.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.