Google Offers: Group buying, Groupon- and LivingSocial-killer

Google logo (Google)
By Richi Jennings. January 21, 2011.

Google is preparing to launch Google Offers. It's a group-buying site that sounds suspiciously like Groupon or LivingSocial. It couldn't buy Groupon, so it's presumably cloning instead. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get together for an old-skool coupon-clipping party.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Every Star Trek: Voyager Episode In Three Minutes...


Ben Parr and Jolie O’Dell breathlessly interrupt, to bring us this Special Bulletin:

We have the documents to prove it. ... A confidential fact sheet straight from the Googleplex about the company’s new group buying service. ... Google Offers looks and operates much like Groupon or LivingSocial. Users receive an e-mail with a local deal-of-the-day. ... 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.


Google is actively reaching out to businesses now to get them on board with Offers. It even apparently has a writing team in place to craft the write-up for offers. ... Google has responded to our inquiry and ... essentially confirms Google Offers is real.

Greg Sterling adds background:

Toward the end of last year, Google and Groupon discussed an ... acquisition. That ultimately didn’t happen allegedly because Google was unwilling to pay a massive kill fee should the US oppose the deal.


Google flubbed its opportunity with coupons a few years ago. This appears to be a more focused effort to crack the market. ... A shrewd maneuver by Google would be to take less than the traditional 50 percent commission that Groupon takes.

Matt Rosoff ponders the 'me-too-ishness' of it all:

The daily deals market is already crowded, but Google has the traffic and advertising relationships to make a serious run in the space. Still, it points to a certain lack of innovation at the company right now.

And Anthony Ha laughs at that very angle:

Google famously tried to buy Groupon for $6 billion, but the search giant was eventually rebuffed, and Groupon instead raised $950 million in funding and is reportedly preparing for a $15 billion public offering.


Groupon ... emphasizes the importance of good writing. ...  Google ... will “craft a compelling write-up for your offer.” ... It sounds like Google has decided that Groupon has a model that works.

But Brad McCarty ridicules talk of a 'Groupon-killer':

I’m pretty sure that people are missing the point. ... LivingSocial is still absolutely killing it in the daily deals market. In case you missed it, the site sold over 1 million deals just yesterday. Groupon? The site is likely preparing for an IPO somewhere in the range of a billion dollars. ... The deals market is really, incredibly hot right now, and there is more room in the space. ... Groupon is going to do just fine.


Groupon is already a recognized name. ... It’s as ubiquitous as saying Kleenex or Jell-O, at this point. ... Groupon is the company that put a daily deals function onto the map. Even with the power of Google, that’s going to be an amount of branding that’s hard to overcome. ... Groupon has top-of-mind awareness, and that’s one hurdle that is exceptionally high.

And Finally...

Every Star Trek: Voyager Episode In Three Minutes

[hat tip: uncultured, via ROFLrazzi]

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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

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