After its debut in June of this year, Google’s deals service Google Offers is now expanding to five more cities: Austin, Boston, D.C., Denver and Seattle. It’s already up-and-running in the original test market of Portland, plus the Bay Area and New York City.
As of today, each of the new cities has at least one offer available, including those for local restaurants, retail establishments and tourist attractions.
Details of the five new offers are on Google’s Commerce blog this morning.
Users can sign up to receive offers from google.com/offers, or use the Google Shopper for Android app (see the “Today’s Offer” tab.) The latter method doesn’t require a sign-up process – you can just peek at the offer to see if it appeals to you.
Google Offers has been called, for obvious reasons, Google’s own version of Groupon, and in some cases, has been found lacking. But Google Offers actually a much more integrated product than the singularly focused Groupon and its competitors, like Living Social, and dozens of others.
Offers ties to together Google’s search, advertising and business listings service Google Places with its mobile platform, Android. This isn’t only done through the optional Android app, Shopper, but also through the upcoming mobile technology, NFC (near field communication), and Google’s mobile payments service.
On NFC-equipped phones, like Google’s flagship device, the Nexus S, you can tap on a Google Places window decal, read reviews, visit the company website, perform related searches on your mobile (and click on ads), and check for an available offer.
At checkout, you can even pay using Google’s NFC-based mobile payments service, Google Wallet.
Widespread adoption of NFC technology and the services it supports is still years out, giving Google plenty of time to slowly grow its Offers business. But don’t be fooled into thinking that Google was just hopping on the daily deals bandwagon with this one – given its deep integration with so many core products at the company, it’s clearly being positioned as an important revenue stream in Google’s mobile-first future ahead.