While all the Google coupons generally take the same format — business name, a short headline describing the offer, and a few lines of text offering specifics — accountants can upload a small graphic to go with the coupon, such as a business logo or product pictures. Plus, each coupon also comes with its own, unique identifier number generated by Google to help prevent coupon fraud. This latest freebie from Google represents an enhancement of its aggressive strategy to build a comprehensive, easily accessible database of businesses throughout the United States, and leverage that database to sell local advertising.
Back in March 2005, Google first went live with the Google Local Business Center, which offers businesses the ability to get listed for free in Google’s database, as well as update their listing at any time. Ultimately, Google hopes to profit from its free coupon program by eventually offering businesses the opportunity to feature those coupons on its primary search tool, the Google search engine (www.google.com). Google search offers businesses a much broader base of users than Google Maps, and is already used by thousands of businesses as an advertising tool. In the meantime, the company is courting the business community with a number of other free promotional services, including the following:
GOOGLE’S WEBMASTER TOOLS
Your website can rank higher in Google’s search engine returns after you tweak the site’s design with these tools. Specifically, GWT will detail for your webmaster why certain pages on your site are tougher for Google to track and why. GWT will also identify the most popular search terms being used to find your site and allow you to identify and correct any site design “violations” that are presenting the site, or some of its pages, from being listed by Google.
GOOGLE SEARCH FOR WEB SITES
Instead of reinventing the wheel, you can use the same search technology Google uses for its search engine as a search engine for your own site. Price: Free.
With this service, Google allows your company to post virtually any type of marketing materials, job offers and similar fare to its free, online hosting service. Company *.PDFs, podcasts, text files and the like can all be uploaded. And you can categorize each item with search terms and attributes that make it easier for your intended audience to find your materials.
This program will enable your Web designer to ensure that every page on your website is as user-friendly as possible.
GOOGLE BOOK SEARCH
While this service is primarily designed for publishers, Book Search can also be used by companies offering extensive white papers, educational materials and similar promotional items. This Google service offers info-seekers a preview of a few pages of your book, as well as a link to where they can buy the book online.