groupon resisited a $6Billion acquisition by google. thats an interesting twist. nice article in NYT. it just shows the power of local sales force for local markets. most businesses actually dont want to worry about keyword searches and SEO, they just want to buy some advertising and drive some business – easily, without the hassle of managing your own adwords account.
This behaviour will change over time, certainly – but groupon seems to have hit on a great basic truth, people love simple. while the rapid number growth may be faddish and i have a sneaking suspicion that we will see more and more people driven to fads, which will hit peaks at accelerating rates due to social networks, i am sure that over time models like groupon’s will succeed in building market traction.
google’s local directory is also picking up steam, yet not as quicklyor as successfully in attracting local advertisers. partly because sometimes search advertising isnt very good at convincing people to do stuff. its almost a magical flaw in the model that at some point needs to be sorted out – people like to be convinced (really, they do- just look at fashion, music and most pop culture).