Google’s Offer Extensions, which pair ads in search result pages with Groupon-like deals and special discounts, is set to roll out to all advertisers by the end of February, according to an ad industry insider.
The new offers capability has been in limited release for some time. With it, advertisers can add a coupon-like discount offer to their AdWords ads, either for immediate redemption online or for printing and in-store use, and it’s now on track to roll out to all advertisers, according to Larry Kim, the CEO of search marketing company WordStream.
He’s excited about the new opportunity for advertisers.
“It’s a way better deal than Groupon, who requires 50-90 percent discounted pricing, then takes 50 percent of that for themselves,” he wrote me in an email. “Also, advertisers can track this. Local businesses can connect the dots between online marketing and in-store purchases … not possible before!”
One thing that’s not so certain but would be absolutely huge: integration with Google Maps, which would enable Google to deliver incredibly targeted, relevant, and immediately actionable advertising right to your mobile device.
“Local Deals + Google Maps = perfect match!” Kim said.
As Kim writes in a blog post on the subject, Google famously attempted to buy Groupon for $6 billion a few years ago, when Groupon was still in its ascendancy and could, seemingly, do no wrong. Now, of course, the company is not quite as hot, sporting a market value of just $3.8 billion.
Offer Extensions, well integrated into Google’s vast array of mapping, email, web search, and other properties, cannot be a good thing for the Chicago deals company. But they will be a good thing for advertisers, says Kim:
“Coupons mean more eyeballs and attention for advertisers. Even if users see your deal, save it for later, and forget about it, they’ve still interacted with your business and brand more than they might have if you didn’t put out an ad offer.”
I asked Google for a comment, and a representative said essentially that the company has been testing Offer Extensions, among other AdWords extensions, since 2010, and that advertisers using enhanced campaigns (AdWords campaigns that include information like maps, phone numbers, or more product info) now also have access to offers.