Google Coupon results in Main SERPS Part II

Yesterday I noted that Google Coupon results were showing up in the main search results page for coupon related search phrases. Miriam Ellis who writes a local oriented blog SEO Igloo asked whether using coupons for non-retail oriented deals was a useful strategy.

I have several local search clients that have added service oriented coupons in an effort to 1)test the coupon idea on the premise that they couldn’t hurt* and might generate direct traffic and 2)to see if they helped their rank in the local results. While we have not seen many coupon redemptions, it does appear to have a positive impact on the local standing.

However we had a pleasant surprise as in addition these coupon results also started showing up in the main search results pages for “general service + location” searches. Google Coupons are low cost and easy to implement. Given Google’s penchant for increasing “localness” in their search results, these coupons may just show up that much more often in the future.

For example on the search insurance Olean, NY the Google Coupon results linking to the client coupon are on the first page of the results:

couponserp.jpg

*The Hippocratic Oath of Search: Do no harm.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Coupon results in Main SERPS Part II by

9 thoughts on “Google Coupon results in Main SERPS Part II”

  1. This is a great find… thanks for sharing.

    I had put a coupon up for a friend and just went to check it and discovered that I let it expire! Ohhhhhh! And now Google wants the listing code all over again? Arggghhh! Quick Tip: Don’t let it expire!

    Did you use an expiration date on the coupons you set it up? It would seem to be a more legitimate offer with an expiration, but more maintenance.

  2. Mike – what can I say but AWESOME? This is precisely what I was asking about. My goodness…if that is your client, they are really ruling that page of results. Local, organic and coupons all on one page. Now that’s nice to see.

    I want more local clients who this will be suitable for. At present, the ones I have in mind won’t exactly work for coupons, but this strategy broadens the net of who WILL be a good candidate for a coupon.

    I really thank you for writing about this, Mike. I’m awfully glad I asked about this.

    Miriam

  3. Tim-

    Coupons had been so buried and hard to find I hadn’t really worried about it. I figured that if anybody had ever found them, they deserved credit for the hard work. :)

    It makes sense that they would carry more weight for the coupon clipper if they had an expiration date but there had been a bug in the expiration date that had been reported in expiration date setting the Google Maps for Business Group.

    Let me know if that bug has been fixed.

    Also since I was doing more for reason 2 I wasn’t as concerned,

    One of these days when Google has adequate inventory they might actually make them more visible by adding a link in the OneBox listing. Maybe this appearance in the search results will lead to that. Who knows.

    Mike

  4. Haha – late? Tell me about it. But my husband and I are the night-iest of night owls. We spent about 6 hours last night designing the homepage of a website. I had little white stars shooting across my vision by the end of that.

    Is 3:49 you being up late PST or getting up early EST?

    Thanks again for the super article. I noticed you’ve got a nice coupon for free delivery in there. Cool.
    Miriam

  5. I hadn’t seen your previous piece about coupon inventory and market penetration.

    When the Google Local Business Center came out, I went and signed up.
    I think at the time, you could only verify your listing by mail. I went through the process and verified my local business listing after receiving a PIN from Google headquarters. I thought I was good to go…

    When Google coupons came out later, I went immediately to sign up. I then logged into my Google Local account where none of my previous account activity had been authenticated although for some reason my appended local listing was propagating.

    To this day my Google Local account says “waiting verification” and the coupon I created is still in the account but inactive because of the previously mentioned “waiting verification” status.

    It looks like they may have gotten the bugs worked out so I am going to try it again.

    I agree: if Google starts blending coupons into results, their inventory and usage should increase over time. However, I think overall the sophistication
    of the majority of searchers and a market’s population density will be the determining factors.

  6. Miriam-

    The 3:49 am is EST but the posting made me realize that our new server had its time set wrong. It was actually 2:49 am EST. I frequently wake at that time, read for an hour, sip some kentucky bourbon and then head back to sleep. I am definitely not a stars in the eyes kinds of person. When the lights start blurring there is one and only one place I want to be and thats bed.

    The free delivery was my test coupon to see how things worked and to measure demand. It has been in there since day 1 of coupons (August 2006) and been pretty invisible until just recently. During that time in siberian exile my coupons have elicted 1 response. Obviously, this is a small market, low broadband penetration, relatively unsophisticated user base.

    As Time points out, the bugs in the system being fixed, the increasing inventory and the relative sophistication of the users are leading Google to highlight them more.

    Its amazing to me that after 1.5 years this thing is just barely starting to get some traction and it still isn’t clear if it will be a winner.

    Mike

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