Google on Wednesday featured an offer for $5 tickets to the American Museum of Natural History with a link right below the Spartan search box, space it considers sacrosanct and which it rarely uses to promote products. What's more, it was geo-targeted, so only those with a New York IP address saw the link to the deal.
Google has kept its homepage pretty pristine to date. So far, it's only occasionally promoted its products like the Chrome browser or public causes, like fundraising for natural disasters. Recently, it posted a deal for a free Nexus S -- its own Android-powered smartphone -- from Best Buy.
"We occasionally include a link on the Google homepage that points users to important information, whether it be about a relevant cause, a new product or an offer," said a Google spokeswoman via email. "We believe that users can benefit from learning about great deals from local organizations."
At press time, 7,700 tickets to the Natural History Museum had been purchased.
Back in June, Google launched Offers, a daily deals service akin to Groupon, in Portland. It's since added deals for the Bay Area and New York City.