Google may have acquired The Dealmap, a company in the daily deal space, to support Google Offers for an undisclosed sum, but it also stepped into an agreement to deliver discounts and specials on the search engine of its biggest rival.
Among the most paradoxical of contracts Google will honor is an agreement with Microsoft to serve up daily deals on Bing. In March 2011, The Dealmap -- a startup launched in May 2010 -- signed a commercial distribution agreement with Microsoft to become Bing's primary provider of local and daily deals.
No doubt Google will honor all contracts that The Dealmap inked prior to Monday's confirmed acquisition, but the length of the agreement -- as well as how Microsoft will support deals on its search engine in the future -- are unclear. The Dealmap has distribution agreements with more than 50 partners, including CityGrid, Local.com, MerchantCircle, MyPoints, Savings.com, and T-Mobile.
As for The Dealmap, the agreement to serve up daily deals on Bing signaled fast-moving growth of deal delivery through email, mobile and Twitter. At the time, the company had 1.6 million users with access to more than 400,000 daily deals from nearly 300 local sources. Now Bing has more than 2 million users, including 1 million on mobile, and generates about 85 million monthly visitors for its partners.
The DealExchange platform, which combines aggregation and distribution, had 36 commercial distributors and more than 280 developers, reaching more than 85 million monthly visitors.
A Google spokesperson said the company became impressed with what The Dealmap team had accomplished in such a short time. "We've been thrilled with the early success of our commerce offerings, and we think they can help us build even better products and services for consumers and merchants," she said.
In April, The Dealmap launched an update to its daily deals email algorithm to deliver ZIP code-personalized emails in more than 3,500 areas.
It is unclear, however, how The Dealmap will influence the integration between Google Offers and near field communication through Google Wallet.
NFC is an important priority for the company, according to Bon Mercado, mobile ads product specialist at Google, who spoke last week during the Search Engine Marketers Professional Association meeting. "NFC connects offline to online and makes it accountable, especially for consumer products goods advertisers," he said. "Not only for Google Wallet, but for PayPal and Square, it will change the game for purchases through mobile."
Square, launched by Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey in 2009, has been gaining traction as an alternative to credit-card payments using Square's iPhone app through a card-reading device and audio input. Square now processes $4 million in mobile payments daily, inching its way to $100 million, according to TechCrunch.