Last week, rumors were rampant that Google hoped to buy Groupon for up to $6 billion, but this week brings news that the local deal-finder has turned down the search giant's multi-billion dollar offer. Bloomberg reports that Groupon turned down what would have been Google's most expensive acquisition, but marketers must note that the local search and commerce market is moving forward without this deal.
Anonymous insiders told Bloomberg that members of Groupon's founding team made the decision to walk away from Google's offer. Had they accepted, Groupon would have helped the search engine move into the $133-billion local ad market, the source says.
Even though Google failed to enter the local market through Groupon, its clear desire to move into the space should cue marketers to the fact that local search and local commerce are gaining important ground among consumers. Brafton has reported that local search's moment is here, and Google's attempts, as well as a number of successful deals that went down last week, should indicate that there is money to be made through local advertising and locally-targeted content.
As Brafton reported, eBay infiltrated the local commerce market by purchasing the local product search engine Milo.com. Almost simultaneously, Amazon invested $175 million in Groupon's competitor, LivingSocial. Both partnerships may inspire brands to give their keyword strategies a local leaning to catch appropriate organic search traffic – and sales – this season.