PennySaverUSA.com, Google Team Up for Wide-Ranging Deal

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By: E&P Staff

PennySaverUSA has announced a new deal with Google that may let the online search giant use the company’s 5000 sales reps (at more than 400 participating “shopper” publications around the country) to work with Google AdWords, and contribute information from the papers to Google Maps and the company’s classifieds- and general-information database, Google Base. The relationship was launched a few weeks ago.

Peter M. Zollman of Classified Intelligence first reported news of the relationship, noting that it includes:

— A feed of the 1.3 million classified listings in the PennySaverUSA database to Google Base. All of the ads are then searchable by Google users; traffic is directed to the site of the newspaper where the ad was originally posted.

— A feed of PennySaverUSA “power pages” — highly detailed local ad pages set up by the shoppers for paying merchant advertisers — that is incorporated into Google Maps. The “power pages” frequently include coupons; those coupons can be displayed directly on the Google Map when a user searches for, say, a Mexican restaurant in Laguna Hills , Calif. While merchants can build their own pages (at no charge) within Google, “most local advertisers don’t understand that and don’t want to have to manage that,” a PennySaverUSA representative told CI. Information on the pages includes details like store hours, brands carried, payment types accepted, and other yellow page-type material. “This provides richer data for Google users, especially on a very local level, and gives our merchants much more exposure,” he said.

— A prospective test between Harte Hanks and Google of a “bid-for-print advertising” program similar to one that Google has already piloted with 50 daily newspapers. With hundreds or thousands more participating newspapers, Google could become a powerhouse agency providing print-ad sales to large and small advertisers who want bargain space in daily and non-daily publications.

— A pilot project to train sales reps at shoppers to sell AdWords services to local merchants for placement on Google. Again, while advertisers can do that without PennySaverUSA involvement, the AdWords process is too cumbersome and time-consuming for many local merchants.

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