- On Friday, Google began promoting reports outlining its economic benefits on its famously spare homepage.
- The reports show stats like how many billions of dollars the tech giant has helped generate and how many hundreds of thousands of businesses have leveraged its ad tools.
- Google appears to have created these reports since at least 2009, but it’s unclear whether it has ever placed them directly on its homepage until now.
- The company’s self-promotion comes as President Donald Trump steps up criticisms of social-media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, and as Democratic presidential candidates call for increased regulation of big tech companies.
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Want to see all the ways Google is helping the economy and creating jobs in your state? Just go to the Google homepage.
But you don’t need to type a search query.
Google has put a link to the information front and center on its Google.com landing page, one of the most visited pages on the internet.
On Friday, the tech giant began promoting its so-called state economic-impact reports on Google.com. The link to the reports is one of the few pieces of information on the famously sparse white page other than the search box and the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
The reports are localised, and what’s displayed depends on the state in which you live. In San Francisco, for instance, Google linked to its California economic report, which shows stats like how many billions of dollars the tech giant has helped generate and how many hundreds of thousands of businesses have leveraged its ad tools.
Google’s decision to lobby on its own behalf has interesting timing, given President Donald Trump’s continued barrage on social-media platforms, including Google’s YouTube. Just this week, the White House released a tool to report social-media bias and censorship on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
Many of the Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential race are vowing to increase regulation of “Big Tech” companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.
In its quarterly earnings conference call in October, CEO Sundar Pichai took time to talk up the company’s investments in the US economy, a novel talking point that has now become a standard part of the company’s quarterly talks with investors.
Based on online records, it appears that Google has created an annual national economic-impact report every year since at least 2009. A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s questions regarding whether this was the first time it has displayed these impact reports on the Google.com homepage.
Google occasionally puts links under its search box to promote major events, such as the US president’s State of the Union address, and advertise its own products, such as the Pixel phones. But the economic-impact reports seem of a decidedly wonkier nature for such a heavily visited consumer hub.
Friday’s decision to surface the reports is also a reminder of just how much power and reach Google has to spread a message on behalf of itself.
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