Google's local marketing platform - Google Offers - is accepting subscribers in New York City, San Francisco and Portland. Watch out Groupon.

Google has been aggressively moving into the local market for months, and the search giant may finally have launched a product that will give Groupon a run for its money. Google Offers, an email-based local-deal platform, is now available in New York City, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.

Google Offers seems to be taking a hyper-local approach to local deals. (Users have the option of subscribing to deals in Uptown, Midtown or Downtown NYC.) This means local marketers across the U.S. may soon be able to leverage Offers to reach consumers directly in their neighborhoods.

In fact, eager Offers subscribers can submit their zip codes and email addresses to Google to be notified when the company introduces the service to neighborhoods near them.

Google sends subscribers a message saying, “We're excited that you’ve joined us as we partner with some of the best local businesses in your area to bring you great deals at 50 percent off or more.” The Google Offers team then goes on to promise that more emails with “amazing offers” are on the way.

The beta release of this product has been much anticipated. Brafton reported that rumors of Google Offers first generated buzz in the internet marketing community back in January when the company started enlisting local business partners.

Local merchants will want to monitor the development of Offers to see what kind of revenue it brings early adopters, and Groupon and LivingSocial may want to watch out. Offers is poised to become a dominant player in the local deals market if Google Places is any indication of the search giant's local success.

As Brafton reported last week, Google Places and Google organic traffic drive the most visits to local websites. Now Offers may further fuel online traffic – and foot traffic – for local businesses.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.