Author Archives: Lorraine Twohill

Championing women’s sports with the WNBA and ESPN

When I think back to all of the time I have spent watching sports, a few memorable moments rise to the top. Lisa Leslie’s famous dunk, the first in WNBA history, took the world by storm. My daughter and I were on the edge of our seats when the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the fourth time back in 2019. And seeing Simone Biles perform multiple signature gymnastics moves that have never been done before is a testament to her creativity and incredible talent. These moments are inspiring and remind us that investment in women and girls allows for them to live out their dreams.  

Despite knowing the importance of representation, only 4% of television sports coverage and less than 1% of sponsorship is dedicated to women’s sports. This lack of visibility and support impacts not only professional athletes, but all of us, from fans and emerging athletes to our kids who dream of following in the footsteps of their idols. It even transcends sports by reinforcing standards of inequity. This is something I am personally passionate about, and that we at Google are eager to help change. 

Today, we’re proud to announce that we’re embarking on a multi-year partnership with the WNBA and ESPN as a WNBA Changemaker. As a Changemaker, we are committed to increasing visibility and coverage of women’s sports to help break down barriers.

First up, as the Presenting Partner of the WNBA on ESPN, we will work with both companies to deliver “25 for 25”: 25 regular season games on ABC and ESPN for the 25th season of the league. We are also working with ESPN to add a dedicated segment for women’s sports on SportsCenter, ensuring the network’s flagship program celebrates the top plays, inclusive of all genders. 

Like all of us, WNBA players have their own stories off the court. So later this month, we'll work with the league, ESPN and others to launch these stories on ESPN Films' 30 for 30. We’ll follow Maya Moore and her fight for criminal justice reform as well as get a peek into the energy of last year’s WNBA Playoff Wubble in the documentary “144.”

Finally, as an ‘Official Trends & Fan Insights Partner’ of the WNBA and an 'Official Technology Partner,' we will harness the best of Google's products and innovation to enrich WNBA fans' connection to the game, to the culture and to one another. We will continue to make it easy to follow the game on Search, helping you check scores, standings, stats and more. Plus, this year you’ll be able see highlights from the recent games on Search, so you never miss any of the action.


Two mobile phone screens showing search results for WBNA — one screen shows games, another shows teams

Keep up with all your favorite WNBA teams on Search.

The WNBA has been at the forefront of progress, for gender equity, racial justice and sport as a whole. And with ESPN as the leading platform for sports coverage, they are at the forefront of telling stories that need to be heard and shining a light on athletes making a difference. We are incredibly proud to partner with these two organizations that share our values on equity and inclusivity, so that women athletes can get the recognition they deserve.

My hope is that we can lay the foundations so that every woman and girl can turn on TV,  go to Search and YouTube, and see themselves represented in sports and media. By sharing the stories and talent of these incredible athletes through this partnership, we have a big opportunity to make that hope a reality.


On International Women’s Day, we’re supporting new “firsts”

Empowering women and girls has long been one of my personal missions. As the brave women who have been the “firsts” throughout history have proven time and time again, when we uplift women and girls, we uplift everyone. For me, that’s the spirit of International Women’s Day.


With 250 million fewer women online than men, Google is on a mission to bridge the digital divide and empower women and girls through technology, in partnership with organizations like UN Women. That’s why earlier today at a special Google for India Women Will event, we announced a new $25 million Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls, providing funding and Googler expertise to nonprofits and social enterprises around the world creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls. 


It’s exciting to go from being the only girl in my applied math class, to being on the panel of judges for this Impact Challenge, surrounded by more than 25 inspiring women. And this year, it is just one of the ways we are honoring the pioneers of the women’s movement, while supporting the next generation of “firsts.”

Celebrating the first of many 

From the first woman astronaut to the first woman to climb Mount Everest, in the past year, the world searched for “the first woman” more than ever before. These trailblazers continue to inspire new generations, especially young women and girls who are striving to achieve their own firsts today. Google is celebrating women who have achieved historical firsts, as well as the many who have come after them. 


Our annual International Women’s Day Doodle explores the journey of the “firsts” throughout history on Google Search homepages around the world. From activists to scientists, writers and artists from around the world, this year’s Doodle imagery shows the hands that opened the doors for women of today.
A Google Doodle featuring women's hands held high, two of them holding one another, plus animations of women's hands voting, making art and working in science.

The 2021 International Women’s Day Doodle explores the “firsts” throughout history.

Supporting the next generation of "firsts"

In addition to celebrating women who have achieved historical firsts, we’re also looking for ways to support the next generation of women changemakers, business owners and leaders.


In 2020, the number of women-led identified businesses on Google grew 163% globally compared to the year before. Now, we’re making it even easier for you to find and support the women-led businesses in your community. Simply search in English for “women-led” — “women-led restaurants,” “women-led clothing stores” and more — on Google Search and Maps to quickly see women-led businesses in your area. 

An animation showing businesses labeled as " women-led" on Google Maps.

Search for “women-led restaurants” on Google Search and Maps.

We’re also providing $6 million in Ad Grants to UN Women to help raise awareness about the outsized impact COVID-19 has on women and girls, and a team of Googler volunteers is working alongside them to highlight these critical PSAs across more than 200 countries and territories. 


To support women-led businesses, cultivate women leaders in technology and help keep women and young girls safe online, we’re hosting a number of global programs: 

  • Today we kick off our month-long, global virtual International Women’s Day event series.Hosted by women tech leaders at Google, we’ll gather women in tech to participate in talks, professional development workshops, conversations about the intersection of technology and culture as well as health and wellness sessions.

  • Throughout March and April, Women Techmakersand Google Developer Groups around the world will host more than 150 events for women developers to learn about new technologies, connect with others and get inspired by keynote speakers, including Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google, and Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of SHEROES. 

  • Across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, we’re hosting series of free training sessions  through our Grow with Google Women Willand #IamRemarkable leadership programs, ranging from digital toolsto help women entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses online and support job seekers to identifying bias and overcoming barriers in the workplace. 

  • As one element of our commitment to UN Women’s Generation Equality Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation, Google’s Advanced Protection and Jigsaw teams will offer consultations and online safety and security workshops for UN chapters and organizations around the world that support women who are at higher-risk of online attacks including journalists, activists, politicians and executives.

Continuing to uplift the achievements of women around the world

Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with Women of the World Foundation to highlight 100 women-led initiatives that are challenging the status quo and invoking positive change for all. As part of a new photography exhibition, everyone can meet the women behind inspirational projects and initiatives in fields like health, climate change andidentity. In addition, educators and students can access10 new lesson plans covering fields of expertise where women have traditionally been overlooked, such as art, science and music.

I wouldn't be where I am today if not for the incredible women and men who have worked tirelessly to ensure all women could have a seat at the table. International Women’s Day is a time for celebration and action. I hope you’ll join us as we honor the trailblazers that have paved the way for generations of women and girls, and sign up to participate in any number of events taking place throughout the month of March.

How we’re supporting the news with our marketing

As every marketing team knows, staying on top of the news is critical to developing campaigns that are thoughtful, relevant and helpful to people’s lives. Not only do we depend on news publishers to inform our marketing, but we also have a deep respect for the important work journalists do to keep everyone informed and safe.

But in the wake of the coronavirus, many publishers have been facing challenges funding the journalism we all rely on. While Google has long spent its marketing dollars with news organizations, a few months ago, we set out to think about how we could do even more to help the news industry through this challenging time. 

Building on ongoing efforts across our company, we've made four commitments to better support high-quality journalism with our marketing. Here's more about the steps we’ve taken and what we've learned.

1. Invest more with news organizations

News publishers provide an effective platform for advertisers to engage audiences. We also think it’s important to support journalism financially with our marketing.


For the first time, we’re holding ourselves to a marketing spend goal with the news category. Back in March, we committed to invest over $100 million with news organizations around the world by the end of the year. We’re well on our way to hitting this goal.

2. Revisit brand safety settings

Like many marketers, we added “coronavirus” to our negative keyword list when COVID-19 first hit as a brand safety precaution. These lists are intended to prevent ads from showing up next to unsuitable content.


As COVID-19 became a mainstream topic that dominated the news cycle, we realized that we were being too conservative in our approach. We decided to remove “coronavirus” from our negative keyword list, which led to a 25 percent increase in the placement of our ads on news content, more effective campaigns, and more of our marketing dollars going to high-quality news publishers. To help other marketers support news organizations too, our colleagues working on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 added alerts within the product, prompting brands using “coronavirus” negative keywords to consider removing these phrases, so their campaigns could similarly reach news sites.


This inspired us to do a broader audit of our brand safety strategies to make sure we weren’t inadvertently preventing our marketing campaigns from appearing on news content, and we continue to review our settings in the face of important news cycles. For example, while we’ve never excluded “Black Lives Matter,” we recently reassessed our settings to make sure our ads are set up to run alongside reporting on the racial justice movement. We encourage other marketers to do the same.

3. Support Black- and Latino-owned publishers

In June, we announced a set of commitments to improve racial equity inside and outside of Google. As a marketing team, one of many questions we asked ourselves was, how can we put more of our campaign dollars towards Black- and Latino-owned publishers in a meaningful way? 


So as part of our ongoing conversations with Black- and Latino-owned newspapers, we’ve been working to identify a more systematic way to spend our marketing dollars with them. These conversations raised a common challenge that many of these publishers face: their businesses are not set up to take advantage of digital advertising at scale. 


We’re taking three immediate steps to help address this. First, we’re working with the National Newspaper Publishers Association, representing Black-owned newspapers, and the National Association of Hispanic Publications to spend more with their member publications in the U.S. Second, we’re creating a Google News Initiative program with these same organizations and others to help Black- and Latino-owned publishers advance their digital maturity and build digital advertising capabilities, so they can attract more advertisers and grow revenue. Finally, Display & Video 360 is highlighting publications owned by multicultural groups within the product to help marketers who similarly want to spend more with these businesses.

4. Elevate local news

From stay-at-home orders to natural disasters, every day people turn to local news to stay informed and safe. In partnership with the Local Media Association and Local Media Consortium, we launched a marketing campaign in June to “Support Local News.” This program delivered funding to thousands of local news outlets in the U.S. and Canada, including Black- and Latino-owned publishers, and reached tens of millions of people with our call to action to subscribe, donate and advertise. 

Better support for news publishers will remain a priority across all of our marketing campaigns for Google's products. While there is more work to be done, we hope these steps inspire marketers to think differently about their campaigns and support news organizations in similar ways.


Google and the Super Bowl: Here to help

Ten years ago Google aired its first-ever commercial, during the 2010 Super Bowl. We’ve run several more Super Bowl ads in the years since. And on Sunday, viewers of this year’s game will see “Loretta,” which tells the story of a man who uses the Google Assistant to keep the memory of his love alive. 

The ad reflects our goal to build products that help people in their daily lives, in both big and small ways. Sometimes that’s finding a location, sometimes it’s playing a favorite movie, and sometimes it’s using the Google Assistant to remember meaningful details. 

“Loretta” has a few other things in common with our “Parisian Love” commercial from 10 years ago. Both are simple love stories told through the lens of our products. Both were inspired by real people—in fact, the voice you hear throughout “Loretta” is the grandfather of a Googler, whose story we drew from to create the ad. At 85, to an audience of millions, he’ll be making his film debut. We couldn’t be happier for him.

As we look forward to this weekend's game, we’re also releasing “A little help before the Super Bowl,” which celebrates the questions people ask about the game every year, based on Google Trends data. The teams, cities and performers of the Super Bowl change from year to year, but searches about the game remain consistent. Here’s a look at what people are turning to Search to find out about the big day:

A little help before the Super Bowl

From the biggest moments to the everyday questions, and the little things in between—Google always aims to help. Enjoy the game!

Celebrating women’s voices around the world on International Women’s Day

As a woman, a mother to an amazing daughter, a sister, a wife, a leader and a passionate women's rights advocate, it’s been incredible to bear witness to the groundswell of support for gender equality this past year. We’ve watched women find their voices, and seen the world begin to listen more actively.

In fact, over the last year, the world has searched for "gender equality" more than ever before. People are not just asking questions; they are looking for ways to understand inequality, seek inspiration, speak out, and take action. This International Women’s Day, we’re recognizing what the world is searching for, and celebrating the strong, courageous women who are pushing us toward a more equal future.

On our homepage today, we’re commemorating women whose stories are not often heard. Through an interactive Doodle, we’re highlighting the voices of 12 artists from all around the world, each sharing a personal story of a moment or event that impacted her life. Each artist featured in the Doodle tells a unique story, yet the themes are universal, reminding us how much we have in common.

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To make it easier to find women-led businesses on Google Maps and Search, we launched a new attribute that highlights local businesses that are owned, led, or founded by women. Now you can find more businesses like Reaching Out Teahouse in communities across the world.

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Here are more ways you can get involved and celebrate International Women’s Day:

  • Tune in on YouTube at 11:45 a.m. ET tomorrow, March 8 to hear from Oprah Winfrey, Storm Reid, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and director Ava DuVernay of Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time” for a special International Women’s Day Talks at Google event. The cast will be joined by 40 teen girls from Girls Inc as a part of a Made with Code event. 
  • Explore top-searched trends around women at g.co/womensday.
  • Celebrate with your Google Assistant by asking, "Hey Google, tell me quotes from inspiring women.” 
  • Support the women behind great apps and games as well as strong female protagonists in games, movies, TV and books on theGoogle Play store
  • Follow the conversation at @WomenTechmakers as over 20,000 women in tech connect and inspire one another during our annual Women Techmakers International Women's Day events in 52 countries. 
  • Watch the Merrell Twins’ new YouTube series “Project Upgrade,” premiering Saturday, March 10. Follow two YouTubers as they build and code their own product, all the while showing girls the unlimited possibilities of CS and STEM.

Here’s to supporting women everywhere in the search for a more equal future.

Source: Search