The news is out that Google Offers officially launched today in New York City, the Oakland/East Bay California area; Portland Oregon and San Francisco. But before you hyperventilate from the excitement and go rushing over to see what Google might have to offer, let me clarify something that those other news stories fail to mention. There are no deals and the site isn’t actually live yet. It’s just a landing page accepting sign ups for the above mentioned cities.
Google just happened to post on Twitter a couple of hours ago that “Google Offers BETA is coming.” Apparently a lot of people read that as “Google Offers BETA is here.” Which it isn’t!
This was a major disappointment. Not because I cared about what deals Google might be offering but because I’m waiting to see how Google will fare in the competition against Groupon or to rephrase that, how Groupon is going to stand up against Google.
I’ve been waiting for this one since late last year when Groupon turned down Google’s $6 billion offer and I’m almost sure that Google went away more than a little miffed at the refusal. Of course they smiled and said it was all fine and appeared to go back to business as usual, but ever since Groupon shunned Google, the search engine giant has been checking out every possible way to forge a path into the daily deals industry.
As was noted in an earlier article here on Daily Deal Media, Google has been dabbling its toes in the coupon industry for quite some time but has failed to actually make the commitment and jump in. This seems strange for a company as big a Google that has the size and financial resources to dive in full force. Maybe all this testing of the waters has been an attempt to find Groupon’s weak point and beat the coupon king at the game it plays so well.
We’ve all been watching the race between Groupon and LivingSocial for some time now and it’s been interesting and fun to watch them in their attempt to out-best one another. But If Google does decide to seriously enter the competition, and it looks like they may be gearing up to do just that, then as the old song goes, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”