Category Archives: Australia Blog

News and notes from Google down under

New report highlights Google Australia’s economic contribution

Just how much do digital tools like Google Search and Maps save Aussie businesses in time and money? And what is Google doing for job creation, whether it’s employing people directly - or helping others to do so by using Google’s business tools to grow their own businesses?

With the release of new research by economists AlphaBeta, we now have updated answers to these questions - and more!

Caption: Google Maps helps transport businesses get from place to place more efficiently. 

In fact, AlphaBeta found that Google’s advertising and productivity platforms are helping more than a million Aussie businesses and have helped deliver business benefits in the order of $35 billion so far this year — in a big boost to small business growth, job creation and national productivity. This is more than double the 2015 estimate, reflecting the continued growth of Australia’s digital economy.

The report also found that digital tools like Google Search and Maps have saved Aussie businesses 97 million hours - a saving valued at $2.9 billion - by helping businesses find information faster, and get from A to B more quickly. Check out the infographic below for more on the economic contributions identified in the research:


Caption: Infographic showing different aspects of Google Australia’s economic impact as estimated by AlphaBeta. 

The report is a reminder that digital tools can be a big driver for job creation, productivity gains, and small business growth in Australia. Of course it’s important we have the right settings in place to allow Australia to realise the full potential of our growing tech sector and digital economy.

This new research follows the recent release of report for industry group DIGI that found the tech sector could contribute up to $207 billion a year to the economy by 2030 (a 70% increase on the 2018 figure of $122 billion).

Posted by Michael Cooley, Senior Policy Manager, Google Australia

Google brings digital skills training to nation’s capital

Canberrans had the chance to pick up vital new digital skills as free Grow with Google workshops were held in the nation’s capital.

It was great to join more than 500 Canberra businesses, not-for-profit organisations, educators, students, locals who turned out at the Eastlake Football Club to hear from experts on digital tools and tips.



Grow with Google aims to give Australians access to digital skills training, both online and in-person, to help them make the most of the Internet. Since 2014, Google has trained more than half a million people across Australia through online and in-person digital skills training, as well as curriculum integrated through school and partner programs.

At today’s event, local Canberra businesses learned how to grow their presence online and engage customers, educators learned how they could find valuable information and engage students in learning opportunities, and individuals at all stages of the digital journey picked up new skills and tips.



We know there are enormous opportunities for those who take advantage of digital tools, but there’s also a skills gap with many people unsure how to go about it. Grow with Google aims to help business owners, students, teachers, and not-for-profits build their skills, with lessons for people at all stages of the digital journey.

And it seems Canberrans are hungrier than most to learn about small business topics — according to Google Search Trends, Canberrans are more interested in small business as a topic on Google Search than any other state or territory in Australia.



Many Canberra businesses are already doing great things online like Little Sprout, a sustainable toy store that has built a strong digital presence and loyal following with customers.

Grow with Google was launched in March 2019 and includes an online learning hub accessible from anywhere, on any device, with hundreds of handy training modules. The next Grow with Google event will be held in Wagga Wagga on Friday 27 September. Find out more at: g.co/GrowWagga

Posted by Mel Silva, Country Director, Google Australia

Nest Hub Max, the newest member of the Google Nest family, is available from September 10 in Australia

Nest Hub Max, the newest member of the Google Nest family, is available from September 10 at retailers and on the Google Store in Australia. Designed to be the hub for any home, Hub Max is your kitchen TV, home (video) phone, bulletin board, kitchen timer, photo frame, home monitoring camera and more—all in one display.

My family has been using our Nest Hub Max in the kitchen, and it’s been especially fun to see how it helps keep all of us entertained, connected and in sync. Since we’ve had some time to get to know the product, I wanted to share some of the ways we’ve been using Hub Max in our busy household:

Starting my day on the right track

My experience with Hub Max starts when I come downstairs each morning – and I kick off my day with personalised help with a feature called Face Match. For each person in your family who chooses to turn it on, the Assistant guides you through the process of creating a face model, which is encrypted and stored on the device. This means my Assistant greets me with personalised information to start my day: the weather in my suburb, how my commute is looking, and even a news briefing that I can watch while I finish up the dishes that I couldn’t resist leaving undone the previous night. In Australia, you can enjoy news briefings from ABC NEWS, Fox Sports, CommSec and more.

Keeping an eye on home from work

My husband and I both love Hub Max’s built-in Nest Cam, especially when we have to work late and want to check in via the Home app. We can easily get alerts from the Nest app when someone enters the room, and we can view the live stream from our phones to see how dinnertime is going. I can even use Talk and Listen to chat via the Nest Cam, even when I’m away from home. Or if I want to say a bit more, I can use the Google Duo app on my phone to send a video message to my husband that he’ll receive when he walks up to the Hub Max.

Peace of mind

Nest Hub Max has been designed with your privacy in mind and has multiple features to control its built-in Nest Cam. Per our privacy commitments, there’s a green light on the front of Hub Max that indicates when the camera is streaming, and nothing is streamed or recorded unless you explicitly enable it. When a verified member of our household views the stream remotely via the Nest app, the light blinks green. In addition, there are multiple controls to disable the camera and mics, including a hardware switch that lets you physically disable both (and this can’t be overridden via the Home app remotely). Of course, you can always access, review and delete your footage and queries at any time via the Nest app and My Activity.

Dinnertime is family time

From guided recipes to how-to videos, Nest Hub Max is our digital sous chef that helps us whip up family dinners. There are millions of inspiring recipes from leading publishers (in Australia, you can enjoy recipes from Woolworths, Gourmet Traveller, Genius Kitchen, Food Network and more). We eat dinner as a family in the kitchen, and we’ve realised this is also the perfect time for our sons to catch up with their grandparents every evening. Thanks to Duo on our Hub Max, it’s easy to stay connected—they just lets us know which grandma he’s in the mood to chat with, and with a quick “Hey Google, video call Mum,” either of us can invite our parents to join the fun. And with the auto framing feature, the camera automatically adjusts to keep us in view, even as we move around the kitchen to prep the evening’s meal.

After dinner is party time

The premium stereo speakers on Hub Max have made family dance parties a regular tradition in the Morgenroth household. And whenever we’re starting to get tired (or just tired of hearing “Gangnam Style” for the eighth time in a row — yes, really!), the Quick Gestures feature lets us simply just look at the device and raise a hand to pause the music.

Winding down

Finally, Hub Max is the perfect companion as we’re tidying up after putting our sons to bed. For some evening entertainment, we enjoy our favourite TV shows and YouTube content right on Nest Hub Max (and in Australia, you can stream shows with a Stan subscription). And just before I turn off the lights for the night, I always find myself reliving a favourite family memory, thanks to our shared Google Photos album that we’ve displayed using Hub Max’s photo frame feature. Whether it’s a wedding photo, our son’s first steps or our last vacation, Hub Max never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Nest Hub Max is available in chalk and charcoal for RRP $349 starting September 10 at Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Officeworks and the Google Store – as well as Optus in the coming months.



Creating map icons that reflect the culture and traditions of Indigenous Australians

Editor’s note: Today’s post is by Andrew Dowding, Managing Director of Winyama, a digital mapping company based in Perth, and Dennis Golding, Freelance Designer with Google’s Creative Lab. Dowding, a Ngarluma person from the West Pilbara, led last month’s Indigenous Mapping Workshop in Perth. At the workshop, Golding, a descendant of the Kamilaroi/Gamillaraay people from the North West of New South Wales, presented new mapping icon designs to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities map cultural and natural resources. Below, Dowding and Golding explain the creative process behind the icons. 

Humankind’s earliest maps, usually created by Indigenous peoples, were drawn by hand in sand or engraved onto rocks. In a sense, the drawings—many of which still exist today—were versions of today’s online map pins and icons, intended to guide people to important places and show our connection to the land.

As more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians assert their traditional ties to their lands, they need modern-day replacements for sand and rock drawings. At the Indigenous Mapping Workshop, we helped Australia’s Indigenous peoples use mapping tools like Google Earth to visualise their lands and preserve cultural knowledge about their country for future generations.

Google Maps icons already do a great job of telling us where we can grab a coffee or find a place to stay. However, we want to share a different kind of knowledge with our communities: knowledge about where to find cultural sites and where specific animals often gather. We need to guide people to traditional foods, shelter, animals, and sacred spaces. When we’re explaining what life is like in our country, we need icons showing bush tomatoes or berries, and icons that represent people around campfires.


Icons with meaning for highly diverse Indigenous communities 
With 100 Indigenous community members coming together in Perth, the Indigenous Mapping Workshop was the perfect place to present icon designs reflecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures. Our plan was to bring 20 icon designs to the workshop, where we’d collaborate with community members on ideas for more icons, eventually ending up with a group of 50 icons that covered a range of Indigenous experiences, places, and practices. With these icons in hand, mapping workshop attendees can visualise their significant places and tell Indigenous stories using maps. 


But before we created the icon concepts, we acknowledged our design challenges: Australia’s Indigenous communities are not homogenous. In Australia alone, there are hundreds of Indigenous peoples and more than 250 Aboriginal language groups, each with their own artworks, cultures, and lifestyles. A sea turtle icon could mean something to a coastal person, but mean nothing at all to a desert person. We had to tap into a common universe of symbols so that, as much as possible, icon designs would resonate across cultural lines.
Map icons need to be small in scale. Mapping icons are meant to be clearly read on device screens. We had to reduce designs to their most basic elements, so they’d pop on a map and not melt into the landscape.
Our design style is different. We like the sharp-edged and computer-designed icon style used in Google Maps, but that style doesn’t match up with Aboriginal art, which relies on hand drawings and isn’t so clean-edged.

Grounding icons in traditional symbols 
We’re lucky to have the support of Google’s Sydney-based Creative Lab team on this project. Creative Lab is a group of creators, developers, and filmmakers who explore Google tools and emerging technology; they designed the Indigenous Mapping Workshop’s logo. Dennis began working with the Creative Lab in 2018 as its first Aboriginal designer.

To start the design process, Andrew focused on the basic patterns and symbols of Aboriginal art as a visual language for the icons, and gave Dennis some designs from an Aboriginal art teaching website.
Dennis—who already has experience creating Indigenous-inspired designs with his rugby jersey for Australia’s Wallabies team—started his research on the street, looking at signs. He thought about how signs guide us when we’re walking and driving, and how icons and colors come together to take us from place to place.

He also researched objects that could be used as the basis for icons—like boomerangs, the traditional thrown tool used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for hunting, and middens, buried collections of shells that indicate where Indigenous peoples ate meals.

Here’s one of the first mockups, done in Adobe Creative Suite. At this point, we didn’t have icons yet—just some drawings of Indigenous objects.
Dennis wanted the icon designs to be informed by Aboriginal art, but also to be read instantly by the viewer, using a simple and universal style for the entire icon set. We had to pull back a bit from the traditional designs we started with. The symbolism of the icon mattered above all: They had to communicate meaning while still reflecting the past.

Here’s how we simplified the drawings to emphasise the symbolism:
From traditional designs to icons:
Water holes Camp Turtle We also had to think about using color to classify icons—another way to help map-makers and map readers understand the icons and their purpose.

Our first set of icons, with more to come 
With our starter set of 20 icons, we were ready to throw this project open to discussion at the Indigenous Mapping Workshop, in hopes of refining the designs we have, understanding the needs of different communities and getting inspiration for more. We decided to add some new icons based on conversations with attendees—for example, icons for wind (which we did not expect!), icons that could mark sites of genocide or acts of brutality against Indigenous communities, and icons that could be gender-based to align with cultural protocols around men’s business and women’s business. There were also instances where people suggested new designs for existing icons like the Pearl Shell and Ceremony icons. We expect that the icon design process will continue for the rest of the year as we share refinements with workshop attendees and consider feedback from different Aboriginal communities.

Dennis Golding chatting with workshop participants about the icon project. Photo credit: Dion Kickett Photography 
Workshop participants were invited to suggest new icons that would support their mapping projects. Photo credit: Dion Kickett Photography 
IMW participants suggested ideas for ceremony and rock art icons. Photo credit: Dion Kickett Photography 
IMW participants suggested ideas for icons that represent significant animals. Photo credit: Dion Kickett Photography 

We’re excited to have a set of mapping icons that reflect us and our Aboriginal traditions. Because Australia is so vast, people tend to think of Aboriginal lands as empty landscapes. But as our maps and icons will show, these are vibrant places filled with life and culture—and far from empty.

Celebrating Aussie sport: More ways to help you explore, learn and get into the games you love


Whether we’re playing or barracking, we Aussies take our commitment to sport very seriously. We have public holidays for horse races and grand finals – and 92% of us are interested in sports.* Over generations, sport has become a defining pillar of our identity, values and culture.

This passion for sport comes through in Search. According to Google Trends, Search interest in Australia sport is higher than Search interest in the weather every year – and the most searched Aussie by Aussies this year so far is tennis player and former cricketer, Ash Barty.

With this fascination in mind, we’ve been on a mission to help Aussies better connect with and explore the sports they love. Last year, we launched live scores, match results, fixtures and ladders across AFL, NRL, Cricket (and more) to help you stay up to date and cheer on your favourite teams. And this year, we launched voting in Search, inviting AFL fans to vote for their Friday Night Best on Ground and Player of the Round - directly in Search.

We know rich content and live streaming are important to fans. In the coming months, we’re delivering more tools to help partners bring their live streams and highlights through Search.

Building on these efforts, we’ve been working with more local partners to help people in Australia and around the world explore and learn about our rich sporting heritage.

Today, Google Arts & Culture is launching our first dedicated celebration of sports, Great Sporting Land – showcasing the people, moments and places which have shaped our extraordinary sport history. Australia was chosen as the first country to kick off this initiative – a true testament to our weight in the world of sport.



The exhibition features over 11,000 archived images and videos, and more than 100 original stories from over 30 partners including the Melbourne Cricket Club, Australian Football League, National Portrait Gallery and Bondi Surf Lifesaving. Google’s Art Camera technology also travelled to sporting institutions across the country to capture over 200 pieces of art, archival materials and artefacts in high-resolution gigapixel quality.

Cricket legend Steve Waugh will take you on a tour of the archives of the world-famous Bradman Museum to discover some of the most famous bats in the history of cricket, including hand-etched scores on the back of Don Bradman’s first bat. Steve will also take you through a video series that offers never-before-seen insight into his work and memories of the sport.


Zoom into the details of Don Bradman’s original bat (here held by Steve Waugh), from the Bradman Museum. 

You can also venture to Sydney Cricket Ground's Away Changing Room where visiting players have taken it upon themselves to graffiti their standout batting and bowling figures on the changing room door.
Sydney Cricket Ground's Away changing room cupboard door, from Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds


If you’re ready for a dip, put on your togs and take a trip to Summers Past—an exhibition celebrating the golden days in the Australian sunshine. You can also Watch the Waves (a selection of photographs of surf lifesaving by the National Archives) or explore the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club in VR.


A lifeguard watching over swimmers from a lookout, circa 1966, from National Archives of Australia

Whether you’re in Melbourne, Mumbai or Manchester, you can discover the tales, traditions, legends and artifacts that have shaped our great sporting nation at g.co/GreatSportingLand – or download the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android.

*BCG Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport 2017, Australian Sports Commission

Celebrating Aussie sport: More ways to help you explore, learn and get into the games you love


Whether we’re playing or barracking, we Aussies take our commitment to sport very seriously. We have public holidays for horse races and grand finals – and 92% of us are interested in sports.* Over generations, sport has become a defining pillar of our identity, values and culture.

This passion for sport comes through in Search. According to Google Trends, Search interest in Australia sport is higher than Search interest in the weather every year – and the most searched Aussie by Aussies this year so far is tennis player and former cricketer, Ash Barty.

With this fascination in mind, we’ve been on a mission to help Aussies better connect with and explore the sports they love. Last year, we launched live scores, match results, fixtures and ladders across AFL, NRL, Cricket (and more) to help you stay up to date and cheer on your favourite teams. And this year, we launched voting in Search, inviting AFL fans to vote for their Friday Night Best on Ground and Player of the Round - directly in Search.

We know rich content and live streaming are important to fans. In the coming months, we’re delivering more tools to help partners bring their live streams and highlights through Search.

Building on these efforts, we’ve been working with more local partners to help people in Australia and around the world explore and learn about our rich sporting heritage.

Today, Google Arts & Culture is launching our first dedicated celebration of sports, Great Sporting Land – showcasing the people, moments and places which have shaped our extraordinary sport history. Australia was chosen as the first country to kick off this initiative – a true testament to our weight in the world of sport.



The exhibition features over 11,000 archived images and videos, and more than 100 original stories from over 30 partners including the Melbourne Cricket Club, Australian Football League, National Portrait Gallery and Bondi Surf Lifesaving. Google’s Art Camera technology also travelled to sporting institutions across the country to capture over 200 pieces of art, archival materials and artefacts in high-resolution gigapixel quality.

Cricket legend Steve Waugh will take you on a tour of the archives of the world-famous Bradman Museum to discover some of the most famous bats in the history of cricket, including hand-etched scores on the back of Don Bradman’s first bat. Steve will also take you through a video series that offers never-before-seen insight into his work and memories of the sport.


Zoom into the details of Don Bradman’s original bat (here held by Steve Waugh), from the Bradman Museum. 

You can also venture to Sydney Cricket Ground's Away Changing Room where visiting players have taken it upon themselves to graffiti their standout batting and bowling figures on the changing room door.
Sydney Cricket Ground's Away changing room cupboard door, from Sydney Cricket & Sports Grounds


If you’re ready for a dip, put on your togs and take a trip to Summers Past—an exhibition celebrating the golden days in the Australian sunshine. You can also Watch the Waves (a selection of photographs of surf lifesaving by the National Archives) or explore the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club in VR.


A lifeguard watching over swimmers from a lookout, circa 1966, from National Archives of Australia

Whether you’re in Melbourne, Mumbai or Manchester, you can discover the tales, traditions, legends and artifacts that have shaped our great sporting nation at g.co/GreatSportingLand – or download the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android.

*BCG Intergenerational Review of Australian Sport 2017, Australian Sports Commission

Scuppering scammers: Scams Awareness Week 2019

Romantic scams, investment scams, shopping scams or ‘you’ve won a million dollars’ scams - more than 100,000 Australians have reported scams this year.

That’s why we're supporting the ACCC’s annual Scams Awareness Week 2019, which runs from 12-16 August 2019. 

Scams Awareness Week aims to raise awareness and promote education on ways to detect and avoid scams and minimise impact on the community.

At Google, we’re invested in creating safer digital environments where vulnerable members of the community are less likely to fall victim to scams. We have a dedicated help page that identifies all of the scams purporting to be from Google.

We also make the web safer from phishing and malware with our Safe Browsing warnings in Chrome. Each day we find more than 7,500 unsafe sites, so when you click through to an unsafe page using your Chrome browser, we’ll display a warning and encourage you to go elsewhere. We provide this intel to the Stop Badware coalition to help other service providers make the web safer too.

What can you do to help keep your data safe and secure? Take this quick Security Check-Up to review your current Google account settings and check out the five things you can do right now. You can also visit the Google Safety Centre for more advice about staying safe online.

Google works to make our services trustworthy and robust. For example, automatic Gmail spam and phishing filters block 99.9 percent of suspicious or dangerous emails before they reach you and we block billions of bad ads so you’re better protected as you browse the internet.

   



You’ll see a lot of activity this week raising awareness of online scams through #ScamsWeek19 - a timely reminder of how important it is to review your privacy and security settings and be scam aware!

Game Changer Challenge 2019: Next-gen talent quiz Australia’s leading thinkers on the role of technology in tomorrow’s world

How can we better humanise technology? That’s the question 150 students and teachers from 18 schools in New South Wales tackled head on as part of the Department of Education’s annual Game Changer Challenge.

I was thrilled to join students and teachers at our Google Sydney headquarters for the flagship event, which kicked off the three day Challenge. It was organised in collaboration with Google for Education and is part of Education Week 2019.

Schools represented came from as far west as Broken Hill and north to Nimbin - and those a little closer like the Sydney Children’s Hospital School.

Caption: Students from across NSW asked some of the country’s most esteemed tech leaders for their thoughts on the future of AI, robots and beyond. 

The event saw teams of students applying critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity to come up with solutions to some of the big challenges of our future - and the role that technology can play in this.

Students learned how to apply ‘design sprint’ thinking - a human-centred approach to innovation - to address various problems. They went through simulations that taught them how to apply empathy and collaboration as part of the design thinking process.

Caption: The Game Changer Challenge pitted students against the nation’s leading thinkers on technology. 

To help inform their thinking, students were also able to ask some great (and sometimes tricky!) questions of leading Australian futurists, academics and thinkers - including Scientia Professor Toby Walsh from the University of NSW, Dr Matt Beard from The Ethics Centre, Lloyd Godson who teaches Marine studies at Hastings Secondary College and Distinguished Professor Mary-Anne Williams from the University of Technology. We were also joined by the NSW Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell and NSW Department of Education Secretary, Mark Scott.

The questions covered rural access to technology, education and healthcare, programming, how artificial intelligence could be used to build a sustainable future, and how technology has affected human evolution.

Caption: Students get creative! Breakout sessions focused on design sprint thinking. 

More than 65 per cent of today's learners will work in jobs that don’t currently even exist[1]. We’re committed to helping kids develop the problem-solving abilities and digital skills they need to prepare them for this future, and to tackle the big challenges they’ll face. It was great to see firsthand the impact it had for the students who attended.

But perhaps Sydney Children’s Hospital School principal Lisa Shortland said it best: “At our school, experiences for the students outside the hospital are fairly limited. As the Challenge is part of Education Week, which is a statewide initiative, it is a chance for our kids, and really important for them, to be part of something bigger.”

A big thanks to the NSW Department of Education, the teachers and students, and our panel of experts for collaborating to inspire Australia’s next generation of problem solvers. We can’t wait to see what these incredible students will do next!

Posted by Mel Silva, Managing Director, Google Australia 

 [1] World Economic Forum (link

Solving big problems with AI – supporting Westmead Applied Research Centre to improve health outcomes

We believe technology can help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Through the Google.org Impact Challenge and other initiatives we’ve continued to support Australian innovators who are using technology to make an impact.

This year, we invited past winners of the Australian Google.org Impact Challenge to apply for $1 million, as well as Google expertise, to support projects using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve a big problem.

Today, we announced that the University of Sydney’s Westmead Applied Research Centre has been awarded the $1 million Google.org AI Alumni prize for their project to customise a digital health program that supports individuals at high-risk of developing cardiovascular disease using AI.



We presented the award with the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon Karen Andrews MP at Westmead Hospital today and heard from the team leading this project.

The Westmead Applied Research Centre, led by Professor Clara Chow (formerly of The George Institute for Global Health), will develop a digital health program to deliver tailored advice to participants, harnessing AI to reduce the risk of a heart attack and giving those at risk access to high-quality prevention programs.

This will help improve engagement, behavioural change and health outcomes - ultimately reducing future cardiac events and hospitalisations.


Above: Dr Harry Klimis, Cardiologist and PhD student WARC; Marija Ralic, Google.org Manager for Asia Pacific; Mel Silva, Managing Director, Google Australia; and Professor Clara Chow, Cardiologist and Academic Director WARC 

We believe that AI can provide new ways of approaching problems and can help to improve people’s lives. AI provides another tool to explore and address hard questions and this program builds on our existing AI for Social Good initiative, which focuses Google’s AI expertise on solving humanitarian and environmental challenges.

Huge congratulations again to the University of Sydney’s Westmead Applied Research Centre team!

Helping Australian consumers, businesses and publishers

When Google started just over 20 years ago, Sydney was gearing up for the Olympics and text messaging was taking off. Today, Australians come to Google for helpful products and services, whether it’s finding answers to questions, getting directions through maps, or businesses connecting with new audiences through advertising.

In this fast evolving environment, we understand the interest in how we operate and how we compete. The final report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Digital Platforms Inquiry recognises a range of benefits digital platforms bring to consumers and businesses, and examines important topics in relation to Australia’s changing media and advertising industry. We’re looking forward to engaging with the Government as they consult on these topics in the coming weeks and months.

Set out below is more detail on how Google provides value for consumers, businesses and publishers, how we work to protect user privacy, and how we operate in a highly competitive environment. 

Providing value for consumers, businesses and publishers 
Our products and services help Australians to access information, collaborate, reach new audiences and get things done.

Tools like Google Search and YouTube help Australian students answer more than 25 million questions while doing their homework each night and Google Maps helps Australians save, on average, 29 hours per year navigating our cities (Alphabeta).

Google’s products also help Australian businesses grow; more than 840,000 Australian businesses use Google tools to help connect with customers. The majority of Google’s ad business is search advertising. Google works to offer the best experience for users when they come to search, which attracts people to use the service. In turn, advertisers can more easily find prospective customers by advertising on Google’s Search pages.

In this way, advertisers can reach the audiences that matter to them, at a time that is relevant to the consumer. For example, if someone searches for a new car, a car ad is often relevant. These services are provided without charge to consumers.

Google’s advertising platforms also help publishers make money online and drive traffic to their websites. In 2018, Google referred more than 2 billion free clicks to Australian news sites, which helps to drive subscriptions and ad revenue. We also provide a platform to help publishers to show ads on their own sites. This is used by thousands of news publishers both in Australia and around the world, and publishers retain approximately 70 per cent of the ad revenue that is generated.

Through this combination of referral traffic and ad revenue, Google provides significant value to publishers. Ad-supported models have always been part of the news industry, whether print or digital, and we share their interest in keeping the internet free and open. We work closely with the news industry and will continue to do so as consumer expectations and technology evolve.

How we work to protect user privacy
Over the past 20 years, billions of people have come to Google with their questions. We’ve worked hard to continually earn trust by providing accurate answers and keeping your questions private and your data secure.

For privacy to be real, people need to have clear, individual choices around their data. This is why we believe in giving people transparency, choice and control. Transparency means easy access and full visibility of your data and preferences, and the assurance that Google does not sell personal information to third parties. Choice means the user should get to decide how their information is used and deleted. Control is the ability to manage your settings and features depending on your preferences.

Google’s privacy policy and MyAccount—a single destination for your Google account information, privacy and security settings—explain what information we collect, why we collect it, and how users can control, update, manage, export, and delete their information. In 2017, Australians visited MyAccount more than 22 million times.

Whether it’s delivering search results in the correct language or recommending the quickest route home, data can make Google products more helpful to you. We take the responsibility of protecting user data and privacy seriously, and are continuously working to improve features to give users even more control.

Operating in a highly competitive environment 
The tech industry is dynamic and drives innovation that gives consumers better products, services and choices. For example, when consumers are looking for information online, they go to a range of places in addition to Google. For furniture and electrical products they might go to Harvey Norman. For homes, they might go to Domain or Realestate.com. For reviews they might go to TripAdvisor. 

When it comes to advertising, search advertising is one of many online and offline channels in which advertisers invest. We compete directly for advertising dollars with other digital channels, as well as television, print, radio and outdoor advertising. Businesses invest in online advertising because it allows them to connect with audiences and to measure the impact of that investment.

The internet is a rapidly evolving, competitive and innovative space. Regulatory frameworks help ensure people, society and the economy continue to benefit from new technologies. A wide range of rules already apply to digital products and services, including competition, advertising, copyright, privacy, and consumer laws.

We welcome efforts to better understand our business and will continue to engage with Government on the recommendations put forward in this report, as we continue developing and improving products and services that help Australians.