Car Dealer Insider Sep 15, 2006
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Car Dealer Insider Sep 15, 2006

Auto Retailing on the Web

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Auto Retailing on the Web

Apparently, there is such a thing as a free lunch - at least in Google Land. The Internet search goliath is offering auto dealerships free coupon advertising on its Google Maps ( site, in an effort to get more businesses to "think Google" for local advertising. Millions of Web cruisers regularly use Google Maps to get driving directions, generate maps of specific areas, and find businesses located in a particular town or zip code. Essentially, the free coupons Google is offering pop up on Google Maps when a visitor types in a zip code or town name, along with a keyword. The service also offers general information about the businesses being searched. A recent search on Google Maps for "auto dealers 10001," for example brings back links to approximately 12,200-related businesses, including Land Rover Manhattan, based in New York, New York. Similar searches for auto dealers in other zip codes yielded similar results. "Google's goal is to connect searchers with the information they need, whether it's half-way around the world, or in their neighborhood," says Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder and president. Given Google Maps' current reach, the company's offer to host coupons from any and all auto dealers, free of charge, is substantial. The site saw 23 million visits from Web users in June 2006 alone. The service also enables users to get additional information on a business - such as the auto dealers' phone number, street address, hours of operation, directions to the business, Web and e-mail address, user reviews and similar info - by clicking on business names returned by a Google Maps' search. How to use the service In practice, creating coupons for Google Maps is a snap. Businesses simply sign up for free account at Google... (293 of 1173 words)

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