Google is launching another service designed to motivate internet users to research local business with Google Maps.
From today, Google Maps in the US will offer printable discount coupons when users search for local business. A search for pizza, for example, will bring up a map with pizza restaurants, plus provide coupons for pizza deals.
The service is in conjunction with Valpak, which is a top US supplier of coupons, and will provide over 20,000 coupons from current advertisers.
Google plans to offer local businesses the chance to create their own coupons in a web-based template for free.
The service will add pressure on newspaper publishers who rely on generating revenue from companies who want to advertise via coupons in the newspapers.
In related news, Google lawyers are working frantically to avoid the “genericide” of the word “google” as it becomes used more often as a verb.
Newspapers including the Washington Post and other media outlets are being sent legal letters to explain the right and wrong way to use “google”, and to vaguely threaten action against them if they insist on using it incorrectly.
The term “google” entered the dictionary this year as a verb, news of which Google greeted with a frosty response.
It is ok by Google to write, “I used Google to check out that guy I met at the party”, but not appropriate to write, “I googled that hottie.”
If the word “google” becomes ubiquitously used as a verb, then it can lose its copyright protection.
Hoover and Xerox have fought for years the use of the company names as verbs.