Google Offers, the online search giant’s answer to Goupon, LivingSocial and dozens of other online coupon and deal aggregators, is live in beta form in Portland, Oregon.
With Google Offers set to expand to New York, Oakland and San Francisco shortly, users can sign up to receive daily discounts via e-mail, good for 50 percent off or more at local businesses, restaurants and attractions. Valid for a limited time, these special sales promise deep savings on everything from books to beer and fondue.
A quickly blossoming multibillion-dollar industry, online social shopping made headlines earlier this year when leading startup Groupon rejected a $6 billion buyout offer from Google. With more local businesses signing up to promote via these services each day, but with numerous new competitors flooding the market, the wisdom of this decision has yet to be proved.
The success or failure of Google Offers, backed by one of the largest players in the Internet search and advertising business, should make an interesting argument either way.