USA Today reports on Google’s attempt to reach small businesses with no web presence.
Internet search giant Google on Monday night began offering small businesses a free way to offer coupons online.
The initiative is aimed primarily at the millions of businesses that don’t currently advertise online, and offers them the ability to attract local customers with discounts or special deals.
“For small businesses, coupons help them build awareness of their products and services, and take advantage of the online medium in a way they haven’t,” says Shailesh Rao, Google’s director of local search.
Google dominates traditional Web searches, but it is in a tight race with Yahoo for local business searches.
Charlene Li, an analyst at market tracker Forrester Research, says local search is seen as the “holy grail” for Google and Yahoo because so much business is conducted near the home.