Author Archives: Matt Brittin

Searching for the way forward

I can’t think of a time when technology has been able to be more helpful to more people, families, communities, companies and countries than today. At the same time, the ways that people are using technology are more dynamic than ever. Technology has been a lifeline in lockdown, and it will be an important catalyst in a sustainable and accelerated recovery that works for everyone.

As we strive to emerge from the narrow canyon of restrictions on our lives into a more familiar world of wider horizons, we’re all keen to understand which changes in habits and behaviors will stay with us. What will stick and what will fade? For businesses, the impact of this crisis has varied enormously. Some have seen acceleration, more have had to fight for survival as physical channels to customers were impacted. Whatever the situation, we’re all searching through a fog of uncertainty for the way forward.

At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw how changes were driving businesses to innovate — with many, like Lynsey Pollard’s Little Box of Books, using digital tools to quickly identify and respond to rising consumer demand — in her case for home education resources, tripling website visits in the very first month of the pandemic.

Now, a year later, we can see three big trends emerging that businesses should address to accelerate recovery.

Three lasting consumer trends, as
companies get ready for what’s next

The pandemic has accelerated existing shifts in behavior.

Firstly, we’ve seen that the pandemic has accelerated behaviors which were already underway. Consumers went digital across all aspects of their lives — searches for "delivery," "discount codes" and even "how to" grew significantly compared to the previous years. However, it’s worth noting that some behavior changes remain unpredictable. For example, people’s preference for shopping online over shopping in-store has fluctuated fast and often since May of last year.   

People need more help than ever navigating choice complexity.

Secondly, we’ve seen the value of being fast and helpful for customers. Consumer decision-making is increasingly complex, with more options and considerations than ever. So consumers need more help than ever in making those decisions, giving businesses a huge opportunity to introduce themselves and be helpful at the right moment. 

People want an open and affordable digital world, and that requires relevant ads that respect their privacy.

The increasing importance of technology in our lives has heightened expectations for an open and affordable digital world, underpinned by safety and privacy online. People understand the value of advertising to support that experience and they want to see relevant, timely ads that respect their privacy. 

A Google/Euroconsumers study found that nearly 70% of respondents believe the amount of personal data collected online makes it difficult for them to protect their privacy. Search interest for "online privacy" has grown globally by more than 50% year over year. 

We all have to build trust every time there’s an interaction. People deserve to know how their data is being used so that they can choose to give informed permission.  

More insights and tools for companies to help recovery

So what can we do to help companies face the uncertainty and such dynamic consumer trends? At Google, we’re developing new tools to help businesses understand and respond better to shifting needs. 

Firstly, we’re launching the new Insights Page within Google Ads. It is a new destination in Google Ads where marketers can see contextual and automated insights to help them adapt their business faster in a more dynamic world.

For instance, Body&Fit, an Irish company offering sports nutrition, food supplements and dietary products, was affected by a decline in in-store sales and international shipment delays during local lockdowns. By using health and fitness insights across a number of countries, the brand was able to find new opportunities for growth and even expanded into new markets. As a result, by the end of last year, it saw a 90% year-over-year increase in revenue.

Secondly, we’ve been looking at ways for businesses to move faster — by quickly taking action based on recommendations from our real-time insights, powered by machine learning. To achieve this, we’re taking automation one step further, giving marketers an option to "opt-in" to automatically apply certain campaign and performance recommendations. This means that every time our algorithms detect an opportunity to improve a campaign, brands can implement these recommendations instantly, enabling them to be fast and helpful for their consumers and save time. 

The Netherlands-based agency Dept has been automatically applying recommendations across its client portfolio, and it’s worked — the agency has saved 20% of the time it previously spent on repetitive tasks, while increasing Google ads optimization scores by 18 points on average. Dept has also seen a positive impact on their clients’ performance — construction company BAM saw a 10% increase in conversion volume and a 20% increase in conversion rate.

Finally, as we have seen a decline in trust in online advertising, we’ve been working with the advertising ecosystem on new privacy-preserving proposals open to the industry within the Privacy Sandbox. We’ve also confirmed that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products. Now is the time for marketers to focus on building strong first-party relationships and the expertise they need to build trust sustainably.

The insights businesses want, the tools they need, the partnership they deserve

As we search for the way forward, businesses need to be even closer to their consumers and respond to their needs faster than ever before. 

Google is here to help turn this challenge into a new opportunity for future growth, by providing the insights businesses want, the tools they need, and the partnership they deserve to help them find the way.

These 11 organizations are building a greener Europe

The science is clear: the world must act now to avert the worst consequences of climate change. In September we laid out what our next decade of climate action will look like. It’s clear that the scale and complexity of the battle to combat climate change will require everybody to work together, that’s why we continue to advocate for strong climate action.  

We launched a €10m Google.org Impact Challenge on Climate to fund bold ideas that aim to use technology to accelerate Europe’s progress toward a greener, more resilient future. Together with our partners at Climate-KIC, we’ve uncovered impactful and ambitious projects.

Here are the 11 organizations working on urgent climate-related issues across Europe that will receive Google.org funding. 

Meet the funding recipients

What’s ahead

Starting this week, the funding recipients of the Google Impact Challenge on Climate will receive mentoring and workshops from Google and external experts on topics like technology, growth, product, design, people, and more. 

Image that says Planet Progress

You can learn more about these organizations in a new podcast series called Planet Progress. In each 25-minute episode our host, mathematician and broadcaster Dr Hannah Fry, talks to organizations about their big ideas and the challenges they’re attempting to solve. 

These incredible organizations are paving the way for sustainable changes at the local and global level. We’re proud to do our part in helping them move the world closer to a carbon-free future. 

Google’s €25 million contribution to media literacy

While navigating the uncertainty and challenges of the last year, it has proven more important than ever for people to access accurate information, and sort facts from fiction. That’s why Google is contributing €25 million to help launch the European Media and Information Fund to strengthen media literacy skills, fight misinformation and support fact checking. Our goal is to ensure that you and your family get the information you want, the answers you need and the accuracy you deserve.

Our five-year commitment will support the work of the European University Institute, the European Digital Media Observatory and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to fund organizations seeking to address key challenges:

  • Help adults and young people strengthen their media literacy skills
  • Support and scale the critical work of fact-checkers 
  • Strengthen the expertise, research and resources to help fight misinformation

As the first to contribute to the European Media and Information Fund, we welcome and encourage other organizations to follow our lead and support this important work. It is clear there is an unmet demand for funding and research, with fewer than one in 10 Europeans having participated in any form of online media literacy training, according to a recent report.  

In the coming weeks, the Fund will open for proposals from academics, nonprofits and publishers based in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Independent committees made up of industry experts will select the winning ideas and Google won't be involved in any decision making related to the Fund. 

Our commitment today builds on our previous grants to fact checkers and nonprofits, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines, and our work to tackle misinformation in the run up to other major events, such as elections. Since 2015, we’ve provided funding and technical support to organizations focused on misinformation, including innovative new models like CrossCheck in France, and provided digital verification training to 90,000 European journalists, receiving over 400,000 visits to our training website

And we’re of course continuing our other efforts to support media literacy for young people, with Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens providing digital skills to help schoolchildren and teenagers verify and fact-check. Through our philanthropic arm, Google.org, we’ve provided €3.2 million in funding since 2018 to programs like Newswise, The Student View and Weitklick, and through the Google News Initiative additional funding to support Students for President and Zeit für Lehrer.

If you represent an organization with an idea, you can learn more about the Fund and find out when applications open by registering on this website.

Digital tools create a safety net for European businesses

Alongside the public health crisis, the economic impact of the pandemic is being felt heavily around the world. As entrepreneurs, business leaders and Governments work to protect jobs and accelerate a return to prosperity in the long term, it's clear that digital tools and skills are going to be more important than ever. That’s why Google is investing in new tools and training to ensure all businesses can build resilience and recover quickly. These are helping companies such as handmade accessories retailer MoonDot in Poland who used digital tools to improve online sales by 70%, and La Maison Des Soeurs Macarons in France who gained 200 new customers after its team took online training courses in digital skills. 

A new report released today by the Connected Commerce Council, funded by Google, shows how a “digital safety net” can serve as a support system for small businesses. The survey of more than 5,000 small businesses across Europe found that businesses that used digital tools to rapidly change how they find customers, sell products and operate reported 80 percent better sales during COVID-19 than those who didn’t, and hired three times as many people. And without such tools, many would have gone out of business.


Digital drives jobs and sales for small businesses

Whilst almost all (80 percent) of European small businesses increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic, the report identified three different types of small businesses based on their adoption of digital tools, and how this impacts their business:

  • Digitally Advanced small businesses (42 percent of small businesses in Europe) use more than 10 digital tools and prioritize their importance, leading to better business outcomes such as higher revenue and jobs 

  • Digitally Evolving small businesses (40 percent) viewed tools as supporting or essential for their business, but were deploying an average of six 

  • Digitally Uncertain small businesses (18 percent) use less digital tools and don’t prioritize their importance, leading to worse business outcomes

Digital drives jobs and sales for small businesses

There is clear untapped potential for European businesses to benefit from digital tools 

From consulting with small businesses, the researchers identified a “stack” of digital tools —  e-commerce, data analytics and talent management, cloud services and collaboration tools — that created significant revenue advantages for small businesses if they were being used prior to the pandemic. This ultimately showed that not only is digital driving revenue and jobs for these businesses, but also that Europe is missing out on significant untapped growth from businesses who are not yet convinced about the usefulness of digital tools. 

The pandemic had a dramatic, and uneven, impact on small businesses

The impact on small businesses was, and continues to be, extreme, with 90 percent saying they were negatively impacted and 44 percent having to adjust their business models. And certain industries and groups faced greater challenges than others, particularly female, older and solo-operator business owners. 

Impact of digital tools on different business owners

What’s next 

It’s clear from this research that there is an opportunity to drive jobs and revenue for European small businesses. However, the research shows that governments and companies need to narrow the gap between the digitally advanced and uncertain, particularly for underrepresented groups. As new digital habits like online shopping and remote working are here to stay even after the pandemic, the research also highlights the risk of some small businesses falling further behind their competitors if they don’t increase their use of digital tools. The barriers those businesses face include being unsure of the return on investment and also a lack of skills and knowledge about digital tools. 

This is why new skills are such an important part of economic recovery efforts across Europe. It’s also why we are committed to investing in research like this to inform and build on the tools and training we already provide. Google is joining policy makers, public agencies, training partners and others to develop products and partnerships to help tackle these barriers, like ourZukunftHandel program, in partnership with HDE, the German Retail Association, to help German retail businesses or Ma Vitrine En Ligne, in partnership with the French Federation of Trade Associations, to connect artisans and traders with digital experts for remote support courses, and providing personalized product recommendations for small business owners on our Google for Small Business hub

By removing these barriers, we can achieve an accelerated, sustainable recovery which works for everyone. 

Read the full report and methodology from the Connected Commerce Council.


Key stats at a glance:

  • Key stats at a glance:

    • The impact: 

      • 80% of small businesses increased their use of digital tools during the pandemic

      • 44% had to to adjust their business models

      • Small businesses with a sophisticated use of digital tools fared nearly twice as better financially (80% better sales; 60% better revenue) during COVID-19, and hired over three times as many people

    • The challenge: 

      • 90% of small businesses were negatively impacted by the pandemic 

      • Digitally advanced small businesses are about 2.5X more likely to be led by someone under 45 years old versus a leader over 45. 

      • Female small business leaders face more than 10% greater revenue challenges than men if they don’t use digital tools, but conversely these tools help women more when deployed successfully

    • The future

      • 62% of small businesses believe they will fully recover to pre-pandemic levels during the next year

      • 50% of small businesses plan to increase their use of digital tools

Job-training solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

As the pandemic accelerates changes in how and where we work, many of us will need to upgrade our skills or even change careers. Today we’re announcing more help, in partnership with expert organizations and with the public sector, building on our experience in training over 17 million people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the last six years through Grow with Google.

Even before COVID-19, research by Google and McKinsey showed that more than 90 million European workers may need to develop significant new skills within their current roles, while up to 21 million may have to leave occupations with declining labor needs like agriculture or in-person retail. The global crisis has sped up many of these predicted changes: McKinsey now estimates that 25% more people in Europe may need to transition to new jobs after the pandemic. Many people will need to learn new skills, as almost all growth in labor demand will continue to be for higher skill, higher wage jobs. 

Today, we are announcing three new Google Career Certificates available online on Coursera, which enable people to become job-ready for growing career areas such as IT Support, Project Management, UX Design and Data Analytics. These low-cost programs help people who want to learn online at their own pace, or who may want to change careers and don't have the time or means to access traditional education. They can be completed in under six months, do not require relevant experience or a degree, and are recognized by industry experts and employers. 

These certificates help meet surging demand by workers to get the skills they need to secure good jobs. At the start of the lockdowns, we saw atripling of demandfor online learning, and the interest has been mostly sustained throughout the year, as people need to find new jobs or learn new skills that employers are looking for today — and in the years ahead.

These certificates help meet surging demand by workers to get the skills they need to secure good jobs. In the last year, we've seen increased interest in online learning as more workers lose their jobs or as they seek the skills employers are looking for today — and in the years ahead.

Addressing the challenges of the future of work requires collaboration between governments, companies and community organizations. We are proud to support the European Commission’s Pact for Skills, and, as part of our commitment to help people overcome barriers to learning, we will provide scholarships for the certificates for 100,000 people in EMEA. Scholarships will be distributed through local organizations like Fundae and SEPE in Spain, APDC and IEFP in Portugal, the London Borough of Camden in the UK, OAED in Greece, Czechitas in Czech Republic and Slovakia, the Agency for Digital Development (ADD) in Morocco and RootHub in Nigeria. Additional local collaborations will be announced soon. 

We’re also focused on ways to address gender and economic inequalities, which have been further widened by the pandemic. Underrepresented groups, low-income workers and women are more exposed to hard-hit sectors, like food service or hospitality, and are therefore more at risk of losing their jobs. Older workers without computer experience also face unique challenges as they struggle more to get back into work. Google.org will allocate 50,000 of these scholarships for people from underserved communities, providing access to people from all backgrounds.

Google.org through an initial €5 million grant to INCO, a global nonprofit organisation, will work with over 50 local nonprofits to provide services like career advice, interview preparation, childcare vouchers and language support. These organisations include Riga Tech Girls, a woman-led nonprofit in Latvia that will distribute scholarships to underprivileged women to help get more women into tech jobs.

While there are people that cannot find a job because they don't have the right skills, 40% of employers in Europe also struggled to find qualified people. Joining policy efforts led by the European Commission and others to help bridge the skills gap between employers and workers, we’re committed to gathering companies and organizations who, like us, recognize the Google Career Certificates and openly express their interest in receiving applications from graduates. Certificate graduates can also apply for our apprenticeship programs

Technology must help everyone, no matter their location, race, age or education level. Governments and companies must rethink how we equip people with new skills by removing barriers to learning and investing in innovative partnerships — otherwise these inequalities will only grow.  We hope that with these new efforts and the support of our public sector partners, even more people can develop the skills to thrive and continue growing their careers through technology.

Help build a digital future in Central & Eastern Europe

Technology has been a lifeline for many European businesses and communities throughout the pandemic—from helping people find accurate health information and buy groceries online to finding new ways to learn and stay connected with loved ones. But equally, the pandemic has also widened the social divide, putting disadvantaged groups at risk of being further left behind. As economies embark on a path to recovery, creating an accessible digital future for everyone will be vital.  

To help fill that need, today we are launching our first Google.org Impact Challenge dedicated to Central and Eastern Europe. With this initiative we are further committing to the region, and we will be distributing €2 million in grants to organizations that are working to bridge the social and digital divide to promote inclusive economic growth and recovery. (For those who are interested, applications are open now until March 1, 2021.) 

Make sure everyone in CEE has access to digital opportunities

This work is particularly important for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where governments, businesses and communities have outlined their ambition to make digital a driver of economic prosperity for the more than 100 million people who live in the region. The CEE countries are working together as part of the Three Seas Initiative to make that vision a reality, and we are doing our part to help.

Last year Google pledged to help 10 million people and businesses across Europe, Middle East and Africa digitize, grow and find new careers. In the CEE region specifically, we helped 250,000 people grow their digital skills or transition to a digital-focused career in 2020 alone.  

Similarly, just in the past year Google.org has also given more than €1.5 million in individual grant funding to several charitable organisations in Central and Eastern Europe that are working to improve digital-enabled education and economic opportunity. We’ve been inspired by how these organizations give back to their communities. Digital Nation helps facilitate remote employment in disadvantaged areas across Romania through offering a virtual training program tailored to IT jobs and supporting small businesses through digital upskilling. And other organizations, like the Czechitas initiative in Czechia, Women Go Tech in Lithuania and Riga Tech Girls in Latvia, are all working to build a digital future for all and helping connect women to professional opportunities in tech. 

With this Google.org Impact Challenge, we’re excited to see all the new ways organizations can positively impact their communities and build an inclusive digital future for all.  

Apply with your bold ideas by March 1, 2021

Applications for the Google.org Impact Challenge for Central and Eastern Europe are now open. We’re looking for initiatives that aim to rebuild the economy with social inclusion at its core. The ideas can be big or small and at any level of maturity—whether it’s a new idea or a well-established effort poised to scale. Applicants must apply with projects that are charitable in nature, meet the application criteria, and be based in one of the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Eligible organizations (including nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies and academic institutions) can apply for support for their charitable projects until March 1, 2021 at g.co/ceechallenge

We’ve asked a distinguished panel of experts to advise on the selection of the boldest and brightest project ideas. More than a dozen academics, leaders and civil society activists from across the region will help decide which applicants will receive between €50,000-€250,000 in grant funding and possible support from Google to help with their initiatives.

We hope this support will encourage social innovators across the region to think big about how they can use technology to help individuals and communities in Central and Eastern Europe thrive in a digitized economy. 

Our data centers support Europe’s green economic recovery

In 2020, families, schools and businesses moved online more than ever due to the pandemic. All the Google services you rely on are powered by our data centres, and we’ve had to ensure this infrastructure works for everyone as demand increased—for businesses using Google Cloud and Google Meet, and for anyone who asks a question on Search, watches a YouTube video, or uses Google Maps to get from A to B. 

In the last few weeks, we’ve added new infrastructure to Europe that supports the continent’s digital growth. Last month in Hamina, Finland, we were delighted to welcome Prime Minister Sanna Marin as she visited the construction site of our sixth data center building. Last week, we opened a new data center in Denmark in Fredericia. And just this week in the Netherlands, our second Dutch data center started its operation in Middenmeer.

A European green transition, powered by sustainable infrastructure

We’re proud that our data centers operate the cleanest cloud in the industry. They are on average twice as energy efficient as a typical enterprise data center. Compared to five years ago, we now deliver around seven times as much computing power with the same amount of electrical power. 

Last week Europe announced its ambitious55 percent reduction target for CO2 emissions by 2030, in addition to its 32 percent renewable energy target. Google is helping to accelerate this transition, having supported nearly 1,700 megawatts of new renewable energy projects in Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands. And we are committed to supporting the EU Climate Pact, as technology will have a critical role to play in making the EU Green Deal vision a reality.

Taking the world’s greenest data center fleet to the next level

Our AI technology helps reduce the energy we use to cool our data centers by 30 percent, and we make it available for use by airports, shopping malls, hospitals, data centers and other commercial buildings and industrial facilities. 
But we’re not stopping there. A few months ago, we announced our Third Decade of Climate Action: an ambitious plan to help build a carbon-free future and operate on clean energy around the clock. This is far more challenging than the traditional approach of matching energy usage with renewable energy, but we’re working to get this done in the next nine years.

Contributing to European growth with our (new) data centers

In addition to enabling the greenest, cleanest cloud, all these sites bring economic growth and employment to local communities and to Europe. In Finland, our data center has brought €1.2 billion in investment and supported 1700 jobs every year since 2009. During construction of our Denmark data center, we spent over €600 million and supported 2600 jobs. And in the Netherlands, we’ve directly invested €2.5 billion since 2014.

In the next five years, we expect to anchor €2 billion in new carbon-free energy generation projects and green infrastructure in Europe, helping to develop new technologies to make round-the-clock carbon-free energy cheaper and more widely available. 

Investing in our local communities

Partnerships at the local level make all the difference to communities. We have long worked with local NGOs in our data center communities and have donated millions to important initiatives in Europe, including skills training in cooperation with local colleges and universities. 

We have supported multiple education programmes focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), as well as environmental and cultural projects. For example, in Denmark we recently supported two projects with the Museum Fredericia that will promote local history through virtual experiences. In the Netherlands, we’ve helped with the preservation of local bee and butterfly populations. And in Ireland, during COVID-19, we’ve assisted vulnerable communities, and have given grants to local schools to provide students with laptops and enable home schooling.

We are proud to invest in Europe’s digital infrastructure, contribute to the local communities we operate in and support Europe’s green transition. This will be a decisive decade, and we are committed to leading by example.

Supporting quality journalism in Europe

Every day, millions of people in Europe use Google to find information. In today’s uncertain and fast changing world, quality journalism is more important than ever. That’s why our goal in Search is to provide you with the most relevant and authoritative information available. We share a common cause with news publishers: supporting quality journalism to help create a more informed world. 

We want to play our part in supporting the future of journalism. We already provide significant investments through our products, programs and funding, including sending readers to European news sites eight billion times each month. And we’ve just announced a new service called Google News Showcase, a $1 billion initiative to feature high-quality journalism funded by Google for a new online news experience. 

Alongside this, we’re providing an update on how Google is supporting journalism and answering some common questions we are asked. 


How does Google use news content? 

Google links to news articles, just like we link to every other page on the web, with a URL and sometimes a short preview if the publisher chooses. Every time you search Google, we provide links to thousands, sometimes millions, of web pages with helpful information. When you’re looking for news, those pages could be from a large traditional news publisher or a new digital outlet. They could be from a local news site, or a small publisher specializing in health or fitness or food or fashion. Our job is to connect you with the most relevant information. Publishers have always been able to control whether and how they want links to appear on Google.

How does Google support news?

The way people are consuming news is changing, and the business models which underpin and sustain news are changing, too. That’s why we have worked hard to deepen our support of the industry in many ways over many years.

Helping publishers reach huge audiences

Google Search and Google News help news publishers by sending large amounts of traffic for free to their sites. In Europe alone, people click on the news content Google links to more than eight billion times a month—that means we drive 3,000 clicks per second to publishers’ own websites. For larger news publishers, a study by Deloitte put the value of each click between 4-6 euro cents, mostly generated through advertising and subscriptions. 

Delivering significant advertising revenue

Each year we help publishers earn billions of Euros in advertising revenue. Complementing publishers' own advertising sales efforts, our technology brings additional advertisers and money to publisher pages and apps. On average, news publishers keep over 95 percent of the digital advertising revenue they generate when they use Ad Manager to show ads on their websites. The money paid to publishing partners in our global ad network was $10 billion in 2015 and grew to $14 billion by 2018 by working closely with technology, with publishers and with advertisers.

Making it easier to sell subscriptions

Publishers are building new business models around their digital content. That’s why we’ve created subscription tools that help publishers grow new revenue from online visits, such as Subscribe with Google, which provides an easy way for publishers to grow digital subscriptions. 

Helping publishers through technical skills, tools and innovation investment

The tools we build are in collaboration with publishers. Take Accelerated Mobile Pages: Five years ago it took an average of 19 seconds to load a page on a mobile browser so we worked with publishers to build a new format to dramatically improve the mobile web and help ensure readers see their content. 

In 2015, we launched the Digital News Initiative, a €150m million initiative to further support high-quality journalism by funding innovative projects with publishers. Working closely with leading publishers, these projects resulted in brilliant concepts which help tackle industry challenges from battling misinformation and telling local stories, to boosting digital revenues and exploring new technologies. The $300 million Google News Initiative furthers this work in Europe and around the world.

Extra help during the pandemic  

During the pandemic, when sales of physical newspapers were reduced by lockdown and advertising suddenly slowed, we provided almost 10 million Euros in emergency funding to more than 1700 small and medium sized European publishers impacted by COVID-19, as well as financial support for global news publishers with an ad-serving feewaiver on Google Ad Manager. This includes publishers like Eco di Bergamo in Italy, which has used the funds to increase investment in new means of production (like video, audio, photo and data) to give readers a deeper, more analytical knowledge of what’s happening in the Bergamo area, which suffered heavy losses during the crisis.

The news and Google

How much money does Google make on news queries? 

Advertisers typically do not seek to run ads against news content in Search, because a search for current news doesn’t usually give a clear signal of what someone might be interested in buying. That’s why the direct economic value Google gets from News content in Search is very small. 

We don’t run ads on Google News or the news results tab on Google Search. Most of Google’s revenue comes not from news searches, but from a small percentage of the total searches we get where people are searching to make a purchase, like typing “running shoes” and then clicking on an ad. 

We invest in news not for profit; but because it’s important for society, for publishers and for citizens wanting to read quality journalism. 


Why doesn’t Google pay for news? 

It’s not true to say we don’t pay for news or drive value for the industry. As mentioned above, Google links to news, and helps drive millions of readers to publishers' sites and apps—rather than carrying news articles ourselves. That creates a huge opportunity for publishers to turn those readers into loyal subscribers or show ads. 


How is Google complying with the European Copyright Directive? 

As a directive, Member States must first adopt this legislation before companies can comply with this law. In most Member States, the European Copyright Directive is still in the process of being transposed into national law. In countries where it has been adopted, we are working with regulators and publishers to comply. 


Can Google do more?

In our biggest move yet to support the future of journalism, and taking on board what we heard during the debate on Article 15 of the European Copyright Directive, we have also launched a new kind of news experience called Google News Showcase. In the first three years alone, we will pay more than $1 billion to publishers creating and curating high-quality content for this product, with plans to extend beyond that as part of our long-term commitment to supporting the news industry. News Showcase will come first to readers in Germany and Brazil, and will expand to other countries where the right working framework exists. We hope to bring this to more countries with discussions already underway in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK and elsewhere. 

We acknowledge the strong desire of regulators to help the news industry overcome the longstanding crisis it’s facing, which is why we’re engaging with policymakers on this topic and providing new ways to help publishers derive revenue from their content. Quality journalism is more important than ever. That's why Google is helping people find news, helping fund journalism, and helping support the diverse range of news publishers with products and technology as they adapt to a digital world. 

Powering economic recovery through retail

Progetto Quid is a small fashion business in Verona, Italy that provides employment opportunities for women coming out of difficult situations. When the company closed its stores during the lockdown, it  started making non-medical masks,  safeguarding its business and the future of its workers. Within two months they’d sold 700,000 masks, using Google Ads to reach their customers. As a result of switching production they were able to retain their entire staff.


This is just one of many stories of resilience we’ve heard from businesses small and large as they look to sustain themselves and support their communities. At Google, we’re helping retailers accelerate recovery with training, tools and insights to help them adapt fast. Through September we ran Accelerating Retail, a month of training and collaboration, directly engaging with more than 7,500 retailers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and many more in partnership with industry bodies such as HDE in Germany and One to One Monaco in France. Listening to retailers of all types across so many countries has helped us to adapt and develop the products and services that we’re now launching to support economic recovery around the world. 


Helping retailers find more customers with free listings on the Shopping tab 

We’re now making it free for retailers to list their products on the Shopping tab throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Available globally in mid-October, search results on the Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping retailers to connect with more customers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. Shoppers will be able to find more products from more stores, just in time for peak shopping season across the region. 


For retailers who already use Google Ads to reach potential customers, free product listings in the Shopping tab are a boost to your paid campaigns. In the U.S., where we launched successfully earlier this year, retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases since the free listings launched there.
Blogpost Phone Close Up - Final 2.gif

If you already use Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don't have to do anything to take advantage of this change; your listings will automatically show up at no cost. And we are making the onboarding process as easy as possible for retailers who are new to this over the next weeks and months. In Europe, you can also choose any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) to work with free listings.


Connecting people with trusted local professionals

Many people are shopping locally as they spend more time at home, and searches containing "available near me" have doubled around the world. In the first half of 2020, searches for local services, like home improvement or maintenance, increased by over 25 percent in a year across a  range of European countries.


To help trusted businesses reach local customers, we’re announcing the launch of Local Services Ads in 10 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.


Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy local professionals—such as plumbers, house cleaners and electricians—backed by the Google Guaranteebadge. Potential customers can see license information and reviews from previous customers, and they can compare and contact providers. You don’t even need a website to use these ads, and you only pay when contacted by a customer—there’s no charge for people clicking on the ad. People can book services directly with a simple phone call. If you're a platform that's already connecting customers with professionals you can expandyour offering to include Local Services Ads.
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Local Services Ads in Germany and the UK

Getting small businesses online

An online presence has never been more critical for a business’s success. But, according to 2019 YouGov research, around a third of small businesses in six European countries surveyed don’t even have a website. 


To help small business owners take their first steps online, this month we launched Google for Small Business in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. It provides personalized plans including guidance on which tools are right for your business. We’ve also recently expanded Grow My Store, which helps local retailers drive customer traffic and improve their online shopping experience, to Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. We plan to roll out both Google for Small Business and Grow My Store to more countries before the end of the year.  


Digital tools and skills have been a lifeline in lockdown. By working together, they can be a catalyst for accelerating recovery —for retailers, their staff, customers, and the wider economy.

Powering economic recovery through retail

Progetto Quid is a small fashion business in Verona, Italy that provides employment opportunities for women coming out of difficult situations. When the company closed its stores during the lockdown, it  started making non-medical masks,  safeguarding its business and the future of its workers. Within two months they’d sold 700,000 masks, using Google Ads to reach their customers. As a result of switching production they were able to retain their entire staff.


This is just one of many stories of resilience we’ve heard from businesses small and large as they look to sustain themselves and support their communities. At Google, we’re helping retailers accelerate recovery with training, tools and insights to help them adapt fast. Through September we ran Accelerating Retail, a month of training and collaboration, directly engaging with more than 7,500 retailers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and many more in partnership with industry bodies such as HDE in Germany and One to One Monaco in France. Listening to retailers of all types across so many countries has helped us to adapt and develop the products and services that we’re now launching to support economic recovery around the world. 


Helping retailers find more customers with free listings on the Shopping tab 

We’re now making it free for retailers to list their products on the Shopping tab throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Available globally in mid-October, search results on the Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping retailers to connect with more customers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. Shoppers will be able to find more products from more stores, just in time for peak shopping season across the region. 


For retailers who already use Google Ads to reach potential customers, free product listings in the Shopping tab are a boost to your paid campaigns. In the U.S., where we launched successfully earlier this year, retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases since the free listings launched there.
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If you already use Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don't have to do anything to take advantage of this change; your listings will automatically show up at no cost. And we are making the onboarding process as easy as possible for retailers who are new to this over the next weeks and months. In Europe, you can also choose any Comparison Shopping Service (CSS) to work with free listings.


Connecting people with trusted local professionals

Many people are shopping locally as they spend more time at home, and searches containing "available near me" have doubled around the world. In the first half of 2020, searches for local services, like home improvement or maintenance, increased by over 25 percent in a year across a  range of European countries.


To help trusted businesses reach local customers, we’re announcing the launch of Local Services Ads in 10 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.


Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy local professionals—such as plumbers, house cleaners and electricians—backed by the Google Guaranteebadge. Potential customers can see license information and reviews from previous customers, and they can compare and contact providers. You don’t even need a website to use these ads, and you only pay when contacted by a customer—there’s no charge for people clicking on the ad. People can book services directly with a simple phone call. If you're a platform that's already connecting customers with professionals you can expandyour offering to include Local Services Ads.
GGL UK Google SMB Local Services Combined DE&UK Phone_2 Sep20.png

Local Services Ads in Germany and the UK

Getting small businesses online

An online presence has never been more critical for a business’s success. But, according to 2019 YouGov research, around a third of small businesses in six European countries surveyed don’t even have a website. 


To help small business owners take their first steps online, this month we launched Google for Small Business in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. It provides personalized plans including guidance on which tools are right for your business. We’ve also recently expanded Grow My Store, which helps local retailers drive customer traffic and improve their online shopping experience, to Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain. We plan to roll out both Google for Small Business and Grow My Store to more countries before the end of the year.  


Digital tools and skills have been a lifeline in lockdown. By working together, they can be a catalyst for accelerating recovery —for retailers, their staff, customers, and the wider economy.