Thursday, May 31, 2012

It’s Food Truck Day in Orlando, presented by Google Offers

Let the good deals roll. Google Offers in Orlando is kicking off summer by showcasing the latest food movement: food that moves. Food trucks represent the ultimate in micro-sized businesses that collectively have a huge impact on local culture.

Today only, you’ll have a chance to save 50% at six of the city’s roving restaurants: from the most beloved to some waiting to be discovered. Don't miss out on this one-day wonder because after today it’s rolling, rolling, gone.

Here’s a sneak peak:
  • Melissa’s Chicken and Waffles ($4 for $8): These popular Southern-style sandwiches marry savory poultry with sweet, doughy battercakes. Melissa’s signature dish, buttermilk fried chicken with gravy and syrup folded into a warm, fluffy waffle, is served alongside other cooked-to-order specials like waffles topped with coconut chicken and pineapple chili sauce or, for dessert, with blueberry cheesecake. Savory, sweet, and hot off the iron at any time of day.
  • La Empanada ($3.50 for $7): Gourmet eats meet low-key convenience at La Empanada, where neatly-filled pastry pockets make for inspired handheld meals. Try the truck’s “envelope food” in creative, baked or fried varieties like truffle mac and cheese and lentil sloppy Joe. Save room for a dark chocolate and sea salt pocket for dessert. After all, the empanada is the ultimate mobile munchy.
  • Fork In The Road ($5 for $10): Manned by French Culinary Institute grad Bryce Balluff, this traveling kitchen offers a seasonal menu of artisanal signature sandwiches, mac and cheese creations, and decadent desserts. Their cookiewiches—ice cream stuffed between two fresh-baked cookies—are a perfect way to cool off on a scorching summer day.
  • Sit ‘N Stay Pet Cafe ($5 for $10): Run by animal-loving sisters, this traveling treat-machine and online shop serves up homemade canine and cat delights. Treat your pooch to a Jamaican Bark Patty, Cake Pup or a grain-free Banana Nut “Ruffin,” and get felines purring with shrimp-flavored Cat Bread. The gourmet nibbles are so tail-waggingly good that owners may have a hard time keeping their paws off.
  • The Flattery ($4 for $8): Pizza gets personal at The Flattery, where they use local ingredients to serve up personal-size and personalized gourmet flatbreads. Their spread of inspired varieties include the Piggy Pie, Say Cheese, and Flatter Me Q (smoked chicken and caramelized onions with homemade apple coffee BBQ sauce). Each mini-pizza is made to order and to please, so customize away. The folks at this fancy curbside kitchen are so accommodating, you’ll be flattered.
  • Que Rico ($5 for $10): Catering to the late-night crowds in South Orange, Que Rico brings Miami’s saucy Latin heat up north, serving comfort food classics with South American flair. For the ultimate “Rico fix” after a big night out, try the Salchi Papas—a platter of fried hot dogs and french fries topped with their special pink, pimento and cilantro sauces. If that doesn’t pull you in, the Latin party music bumping from the truck definitely will.

Orlando is much more than theme parks (though we love them). See more of what O-Town has to offer. Subscribe now.

Building a better shopping experience

Truly great search is all about turning intentions into actions, lightning fast. In the early days of Google, users would type in a query, we’d return ten blue links, and they’d move on happy. Today people want more. When searching for great local restaurants, people want places to eat right there on the results page, not another click or two away. It’s the same with hotels, flight options, directions and shopping.

Organizing these types of data can be very different from indexing the Web, because the information is often not publicly available. It requires deep partnerships with different industries—from financial services and travel to merchants who sell physical goods.

Today we’re announcing a new initiative to improve our shopping experience over time--so that shoppers (your customers) can easily research purchases, compare different products, their features and prices, and then connect directly with merchants to make their purchase.

Google Shopping

First, we are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model built on Product Listing Ads. This new product discovery experience will be called Google Shopping and the transition will be complete this fall. We believe that having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date. Higher quality data—whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability—should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.

We’re giving merchants a few months to transition to this new model, and we’re also offering some incentives:

  • All merchants who create Product Listing Ads by August 15, 2012 will automatically receive a monthly credit for 10% of their total Product Listing Ad spend through the end of 2012; and
  • Existing Google Product Search merchants can receive $100 AdWords credit toward Product Listing Ads if they fill out a form before August 15, 2012.
To learn more and get started merchants can visit:

Ranking in Google Shopping, when the full transition is complete this fall, will be based on a combination of relevance and bid price--just like Product Listing Ads today. This will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping. Over time they will also have the opportunity to market special offers such as “30% off all refracting telescopes.”

In addition, merchants who want to stand out from the crowd can choose to participate in our new Google Trusted Stores program. Google Trusted Stores is a badge for e-commerce sites which gives users background on merchants—whatever their size—including ratings for on-time shipping and customer service. Google stands behind merchants that have earned the Google Trusted Stores badge with a $1,000 lifetime purchase protection guarantee per shopper.

Second, starting today we’ve also begun to experiment with some new commercial formats on that will make it easier for users to find and compare different products. These include larger product images that give shoppers a better sense of what is available and also the ability to refine a search by brand or product type. For example, here’s what stargazers could see on when searching for [telescopes].
Search results for [telescopes] in the new Google Shopping experience
These new formats are clearly labeled “sponsored,” and take space currently occupied by AdWords.

If people are looking for a specific product, such as [Celestron CPC 800], they might also see a new design that summarizes information about that particular item neatly in one place. They can then easily decide whether it is what they want, and buy it from their merchant of choice.
Results for specific product queries like [Celestron CPC 800] may include reviews and product attributes
We’re excited about building delightful shopping experiences for consumers in close partnership with merchants. Google Shopping will empower businesses of all sizes to compete effectively--and it will help shoppers turn their intentions into actions lightning fast. Today’s changes are a first step toward providing technology, tools and traffic to help power the retail ecosystem.

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President of Product Management, Google Shopping

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Taste, cook, and dine with local celebrity chefs with Google Offers’ Chef Exclusives in Austin and Dallas, TX

Whether they’re licking BBQ off their fingers or enjoying gourmet food truck eats, we’re pretty sure the thing Texans love most (maybe after football) is quality, locally-crafted food. To showcase that, Google Offers has set the table for Chef Exclusives, a series of inspired culinary experiences with chefs from acclaimed local restaurants in Austin and Dallas. For the next few weeks, customers will be able to purchase offers to join chefs for everything from cooking demonstrations at the chef’s home to a four-course brunch and cooking lesson with an executive chef.


The series kicks off on May 30th in Austin where we have 11 chefs from top-notch restaurants lined up. The first offer features celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winner, Tyson Cole (you might recognize his name from the Food Network's Iron Chef America). As the owner and executive chef of Uchiko, Cole will host Google Offers customers for a seven-course dinner in the restaurant’s private dining room.

Dallas will feature 12 experiences with chefs from the city’s finest restaurants, starting with none other than Top Chef’s own Tre Wilcox on June 11th. Wilcox, the executive chef at Village Marquee Grill & Bar, will give a cooking lesson and demonstration before enjoying a four-course brunch with the lucky group of Offers customers.

Even if you don’t live in Austin or Dallas you can spend time with both Tyson Cole and Tre Wilcox, as we've partnered with Zagat to host Google+ Hangouts with the chefs on the days their Google Offer launches. To join Tyson's Hangout, visit Zagat’s Google+ page and comment on this post to let them know you’d like an invite to the Hangout and return back on May 30th to try to grab one of the open spots. Even if you don't get to participate, you can sit back and watch the Hangout to indulge your inner chef.

To subscribe to Google Offers in Austin, Dallas and other locations across the U.S., please visit: And follow our Google+ Page for updates from the Google Offers team.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Discover Google Offers near you in Google Maps for Android

Whether you’re navigating the streets of your hometown or exploring a new city, getting from “point A” to “point B” is a breeze with Google Maps for mobile. With today’s release of Google Maps 6.7 for Android in the U.S., you can see all the Google Offers near you in list or map form, making it easy to get great deals from local businesses on the go.

Now, even more great deals are just around the corner
The next time you’re looking for things to do or places to eat nearby, open Google Maps for Android and see if there’s an offer nearby. Tap “Maps” to open the dropdown menu and then tap “Offers” to see offers on your map. You’ll see all the businesses offering deals near your current location, marked with the blue Google Offers “tag.” You can also view these offers in a list and choose to get notifications for offers nearby, so you’ll never miss a great deal.

Browse the available offers in maps or in “results list” and get notifications for offers nearby.

Super simple savings on the go
If an offer catches your eye, click on it to learn more. You’ll see offers that can be purchased for later use and offers that can be used instantly for free. For these offers, just tap “Use now” if you’re ready to redeem, then show it to the nice person behind the counter when you’re ready to check out.

If you’re not ready to use your offer, just press “Save for later.”

All of your saved or purchased offers can be found in the “My Offers” section of Google Maps for Android, or on the Google Offers homepage.

So, the next time you’re zooming around town, put your street smarts to work and uncover the great deals and discounts around you using Google Maps for Android.

If you’re a business owner and would like learn more about reaching customers near you with Google Offers, please visit:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Google Offers

Mother’s day is right around the corner—have you started shopping yet? Look no further. Find the perfect gift for Mom this Mother’s Day from Google Offers. From traditional gifts for moms who like flowers, fragrance and jewelry, to gourmet goodies for foodies, and pashminas for fashionistas, Google Offers has gifts for every mom, at the right price.

Here’s the scoop on our hand-picked gifts, created with moms in mind:

Flowers: $40 for $80 toward bouquets & flowering plants works with premier growers from around the world, so you’re sure to find all of Mom’s preferred petals, from sweet-smelling roses and lavish, pastel peonies to exotic orchids.

Jewelry: $49 for a freshwater pearl necklace with silver clasp ($99.99 value)
Adorn Mom with a strand of luminous freshwater pearls that she’ll treasure on her special day and for years to come.  

bamboopink: $50 for $100 toward fashion jewelry
You’ll find the perfect Mother’s Day gift at bamboopink. This purveyor of high-quality jewelry at affordable prices has it all, from stylish stackable rings to collectible pendants to chandelier-drop earrings.

Fragrance: $25 for $50 toward fragrance, beauty products & more
Give Mom luxury for less with a gift of fragrance from

Apparel: $15 for $30 toward aprons & kitchen gloves
With dozens of aprons that combine modern fit with retro flair,’s line of kitchen attire even makes doing the dishes feel like a treat. The deal: $25 for $50 toward sleepwear & more
Let Mom have her fun with the ultimate comfy Mother’s Day gift: PJs as cozy as they are cute from $15 for an infinity scarf ($38 value)
Why not surprise her this Mother’s Day with the ultimate accessory: a reversible infinity scarf? She’ll be totally on-trend in the chic, continuous loop style, which instantly upgrades any outfit already in her closet, from jeans to cocktail attire. $10 for $20 towards stylish undergarments
On Mother’s Day, pamper the special woman in your life by making her feel glamorous, even if it’s a sweatpants day, with underthings that are equal parts pretty and comfy from

Goodies: $25 for $50 of fresh fruit, desserts & gourmet gifts
Discover towers of fresh fruit, cookies, chocolates, and more gourmet assortments, all meticulously assembled by hand and designed especially for Mother’s Day by $20 for $40 toward specialty cheeses, chocolates & other fine foods
Thank Mom this Mother’s Day with a gift of fine food that’s up her (gourmet) alley from  

More Great Gifts: $19 for a year of Martha Stewart Living & Everyday Food ($39 value)
Treat Mom to a year of Martha’s hints and how-tos with one-year subscriptions to two of the entertaining maven’s magazines. $16 for a one-year membership ($39.99 value)
With a simple (and free) application for PC or Mac, Mom can easily create scrapbooks, collages, slideshows, and e-cards right on her computer with $64 for a custom photo blanket ($129 value)
Let the textile masters at turn Mom’s favorite photo into a cozy, woven blanket.

To subscribe to Google Offers, please visit: And follow our Google+ Page for news and updates from the Google Offers team.

Posted by Shazia Makhdumi, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Google Offers