Google Maps Now Offer Printable Coupons

Google today announced an interesting match-up with coupon mailer, Valpak.

Looks like businesses will be able to add printable coupons to their Google Maps listing for free.

Any business can add detailed information about their business to Google Maps for free through Google’s Local Business Center. Once a listing is created, businesses can add a coupon in the same interface. The printable coupon will be co-branded by Google and Valpak, so businesses will know where it came from.

You have to be a Valpak advertiser in order to take advantage of the partnership.

I think this is a smart move and a great way for Google to merge the lines between online and offline. Everyone loves a deal, just search for “coupons” on Google and see just how much people love coupons!

Google Launching New Blogger Features

Google has announced they are rolling out new features for Blogger. Some of the cool new tools include:

* Permissions: Decide who gets to read your blog.
* Labels: Categories for Blogger, yay!
* Extra feeds: let readers subscribe to comments etc

Existing Blogger users will have to wait for a magic link to appear. In the meantime, everyone can check out the new features by simply starting a new blog.

I met with Jason Goldman, on the Blogger team, last week and he alluded to the fact that new features were coming. I practically begged them to add some type of categories, so I’m tickled to see the new features – now perhaps the WordPress kids will stop teasing me! ;-)

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AOL Acquires Userplane

Quick news, via MarketingVOX

AOL has acquired Userplane of Los Angeles, a community-networking software developer of web-based chat and instant messaging tools used by social networking and dating websites, blogs, and niche communities.

Even Google Employees Enjoy Free Pizza

Who would have thought that Google employees would be tempted by free pizza? After enjoying lunch at the Googleplex just last week, I can vouch for all the great food that is readily available, without charge.

So it’s amazing to see them going gaga over the delivery of 1,000 free pizzas. You have to give credit (and a link) to CambrianHouse for the bold stunt.

Google Checkout Faces Glitches

According to TheStreet.com, Google is experiencing some glitches with its PayPal rival, Checkout. Most of the problems seem to stem from Google Checkout’s fraud protection features.

“Occasionally, these procedures result in brief delays for a small percentage of users,” the Mountain View, Calif.-based company says in a statement. “We are continually working to make the process as efficient as possible to ensure that Google Checkout is secure and convenient for both merchants and buyers.”

We know Google prefers to quickly launch products and then let users point out areas of improvement, but when you’re trying to take business away from a proven competitor such as PayPal, you need to have the creases ironed-out, if you want to gain market share.

Matt Cutts Warns About SEO Friendship Claims

Matt Cutts wants readers to be aware of some SEO firms claiming to be his best friend. He’s always cautious when an SEO asks to have his photo taken with him.

I’m delighted when someone asks to have a photo taken with them, but that doesn’t mean that I know them or can vouch for them as an SEO. So if someone sends you a photo like this and tells that they’re good friends with me, take it with a grain of salt.

Well, I would never play those type of games, besides, I don’t think my best pal in the world, Sergey Brin, would be too happy with me. ;-)

Sergey Brin

eBay Users Petition Google to Start Auction Site

Fed-up with recent rate hikes, a group of eBay users have gotten together to ask Google to end thier misery by launching a rival auction site.

We are ebay store owners who have been “dismissed” by ebay through extreme rate hikes. We are searching everywhere for a new “home” and google is the ONLY name on the internet which we feel would be totally trustworthy and woud actually get auction traffic and get it quickly. Let google know!!

AuctionBytes has more.