Glenn Gabe just pinged me that he is now seeing Groupon showing up in Google Place SERPs:

Groupon showing up in the clustered results in Place Search.

According to Glen, this sucks for Groupon advertisers because:

All of the Groupons I came across were expired. That’s right, when you click through the link in the clustered results, you end up at the Groupon page for the business (with the expired discount staring you in the face.) Imagine a customer searching for a spa treatment, finding your Groupon page (where you provided a huge discount), then finding out they can’t get that discount, and then possibly taking measures based on that fact.

Read the full analysis here.

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6 Response Comments

  • Lee  January 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Thanks Andrew – interesting. I just read the full post, and Glen makes a compelling case. Turns out this also sucks for businesses that DON’T offer Groupons (many of the businesses I work with have decided it’s not for them for a variety of reasons) – they miss out on another potential citation, another way to drive non-deal-focused business.

    In other words, while this additional information MAY be useful to customers, it’s hard to think of ANY business at all that will be happy about it.

  • Tom Lambert  January 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Very interesting move by Google. I wonder if Groupon will take any measures to fix the problem? Offering a ‘late finder’ discount or something…

  • Glenn Gabe  January 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Thanks for the mention Andrew. This can definitely lead to an awkward situation for local businesses. Imagine having a link in the clustered results direct prospective customers to an expired Groupon deal, only to have a competitor’s active Groupon deal in the right sidebar. I don’t envy a local business that has to deal with that…

    It should be interesting to see how this plays out (as more and more businesses run Groupons).

  • Zack  January 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Andrew – This could be a significant issue. Do you have a sense why the Groupon citation is showing up as a review? When I dug a little deeper into the example you gave, it didn’t appear that there was a review on the business’ Groupon page. What Google quotes as the review is actually part of the body of the ad… Maybe a problem with the way Groupon is formatting the data?

  • Gina  January 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

    If clicking on the Groupon citation a customer’s allowed to see the history of the businesses groupon deals, for instance, what they offered and the frequency of their deals, I can possibly see how that could help. On the flip side of it I can also see how it would frustrate a customer by showing them the huge deal they missed out on and like Glen said above showing them their competitors deals in the sidebar.

    It will be interesting to see where google goes with this…

  • Walt Goshert  January 24, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Looks like another Google test to see reaction to coupon offers on a Local listing… humm, Google to put boots on the ground and sell coupons? Didn’t they kinda try this before?