Author Archives: Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce

Editor’s Note: Today our CEO Sundar Pichai testified along with the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter at a hearing hosted by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce focused on social media’s role in promoting misinformation. In his opening written statement, Sundar highlighted Google and YouTube’s efforts to provide trustworthy content and opportunities for free expression across our platforms, while combating harmful misinformation around the U.S. 2020 elections, the COVID-19 pandemic and more. Read it in full below.

Chairman Doyle, Ranking Member Latta, Chairwoman Schakowsky, Ranking Member Bilirakis, Full Committee Chair Pallone and Full Committee Ranking Member McMorris Rodgers, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.


This month, the worldwide web turned 32. Over the past three decades, we’ve seen the web inspire the best in society, by expanding knowledge, powering businesses, and providing opportunities for expression, discovery, and connection — no matter who you are, or where you live.


I joined Google in 2004 because I believed the internet was the best way to bring the benefits of technology to more people, and I believe that still today. 


I am proud that Americans can turn to Google for help in moments that matter, whether they’re looking for COVID vaccine information on Search and Maps, working and learning from home using Google Workspace or Google Classroom, learning new skills on YouTube, or using our digital tools to grow their businesses. In 2020, our products helped 2 million U.S. businesses, publishers, and others generate $426 billion in economic activity. And we helped billions of people find comfort and connection in an otherwise awful year. 


Beyond our products, we were proud to announce last week our plans to invest over $7 billion in data centers and offices across 19 states, and create at least 10,000 full-time Google jobs in the U.S. That’s in addition to the 84,000 employees we currently employ across the country. And according to an Oxford Economics report, YouTube's creative ecosystem supported the equivalent of 345,000 full time jobs in 2019. 


We are energized by the opportunity to help people at scale, and we are humbled by the responsibility that comes with it. We have thousands of people focused on everything from cyber attacks, to data privacy, to today’s topic: misinformation. 


Our mission at Google is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Core to that mission is providing trustworthy content and opportunities for free expression across our platforms, while limiting the reach of harmful misinformation.


It’s a large, dynamic challenge without easy answers. More than 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and approximately 15% of the searches on Google each day are new to us. Eighteen months ago most people hadn’t heard of COVID-19; sadly, coronavirus was the top trending search of 2020.

Responding to the events of January 6

Staying ahead of these challenges and keeping users safe and secure on our platforms is a top priority. We saw how high those stakes can be on January 6, 2021, when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. This was an unprecedented and tragic event, and Google strongly condemns these violent attacks on our democracy, and mourns the lives lost. 


In response, our teams worked to raise up authoritative news sources across our products. Teams at YouTube quickly took down any live streams or videos that violated our incitement to violence policies, and on January 7, we began issuing strikes to those in violation of our presidential election integrity policy. In the Play Store, we removed apps for violating our policies on inciting violence. We also prohibited advertisers from running ads that referenced the 2020 election or topics related to the Capitol riots in the scope of our Sensitive Events policy. 

Doing our part to contribute to the integrity of the U.S. 2020 election

We were able to act quickly because of the investments we made to prepare for the 2020 elections. Last year, teams across Google and YouTube worked around the clock to contribute to election preparedness, by helping voters find authoritative information about the election; by working with campaigns to equip them with best-in-class security features and helping them connect with voters; and by protecting our platforms from abuse. 


Helping voters find authoritative information on our services

This U.S. election cycle saw all-time highs in searches on Google for civics-related topics. Anticipating that need, we worked to launch features that would help people find the information to participate in the democratic process, including how to register and how to vote in their states. 


Consistent with our approach to prior election cycles, we showed “how to register” and “how to vote” reminders to all our U.S. users directly on Google Search, Maps and YouTube. These reminders were seen over 2 billion times across our products. As the election neared, we helped people find polling and ballot drop off locations: From mid-October through Election Day, we added more than 125,000 voting locations in Google Maps. Across our products, these features were seen nearly 500 million times. 


Finally, starting on Election Day, we worked with the Associated Press to provide real-time election results for relevant searches on Google. These results had over six times more views in 2020 than in 2016. Similarly, on YouTube, we launched an election results information panel that showed on top of search results and under videos with election-related content. It pointed to our election results page on Google, and over time, we expanded it to include an additional link pointing to a page on the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website that debunked incorrect claims made about the integrity of the elections. Once the safe harbor deadline for state certification passed, we updated this YouTube Election Results Information Panel again to point to the National Archives Office of the Federal Register page of record for the 2020 electoral college vote. Collectively, our election information panels on YouTube have been shown over 8 billion times. 


Working with campaigns

We also helped campaigns and elected officials effectively use Google and YouTube products to reach voters and enhance their election security. As part of our Civics Outreach Virtual Training Series, Google held 21 training sessions for over 900 candidates, campaigns, public officials, and nonprofit leaders. Overall, we held 45 group and individual trainings to help more than 2,900 election workers learn to use Google tools to amplify their message and better connect with voters through events like digital town halls, debates and virtual campaign rallies.


In addition, as a part of our Election Cybersecurity Initiative with the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School, nearly 4,000 elected officials, secretaries of state, campaign staffers, political party representatives, and state election directors in all 50 states received training on ways to secure their information and protect their campaigns against cyberattacks. 


At the start of the 2020 election season, we partnered with Defending Digital Campaigns (DDC), a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, to give any eligible federal campaign access to free Titan Security Keys — the strongest form of two-factor authentication. This collaboration is a part of our Advanced Protection Program, which protects high-risk individuals, such as election officials, campaigns, and journalists, who have access to high visibility and sensitive information. In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, DDC distributed more than 10,000 Titan Security key bundles to more than 140 U.S. federal campaigns. We recently expanded our support for DDC to provide eligible campaigns and political parties, committees, and related organizations, at both the federal and state levels, with knowledge, training and resources to defend themselves from security threats.


Protecting our platforms from abuse

In the years leading up to the 2020 election, we made numerous enhancements to protect the integrity of elections around the world and better secure our platforms. Among them, we introduced strict policies and processes for identity verification for advertisers who run election-related advertising on our platform; we launched comprehensive political ad libraries in the U.S. and in other countries around the world; we developed and implemented policies to prohibit election-related abuse such as voter suppression and deceptive practices on platforms like YouTube, Google Ads, Google Maps and Google Play; our Threat Analysis Group (TAG) launched a quarterly bulletin to provide regular updates on our work to combat coordinated influence operations across our platforms and flagged phishing attempts against the presidential campaigns; and we worked closely with government agencies, including the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force, and other companies to share information around suspected election interference campaigns. 


On YouTube, throughout 2020, we identified and removed content that was misleading voters about where or how to vote, to help ensure viewers saw accurate information about the upcoming election. After December 8, which marked the "safe harbor" deadline for states to certify their election, in accordance with our Presidential Election Integrity policy we began to remove content uploaded on or after December 9 that misled people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In addition, we continued to enforce our broader policies — for instance, from October to December 2020, we removed 13,000 YouTube channels for promoting violence and violent extremism; 89% of videos removed for violating our violent extremism policy were taken down before they had 10 views. 


This work was in addition to improvements in the ranking systems we use to reduce the spread of harmful misinformation on YouTube: In January 2019, we announced that we would begin reducing recommendations of borderline content or videos that could misinform viewers in harmful ways but that do not violate YouTube Community Guidelines. Since then, we've launched numerous changes to reduce recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, and we continue to invest in this work: Our models review more than 100,000 hours of videos every day to find and limit the spread of borderline content.


Our work is never done, and we continue to learn and improve from one election cycle to the next, and continue to evolve our policies. That principle has guided our approach to new and evolving challenges, including COVID-19 misinformation.

Addressing the challenge of COVID-19 misinformation

This past year we’ve also focused on providing quality information during the pandemic. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, teams across Google have worked to provide quality information and resources to help keep people safe, and to provide public health, scientists and medical professionals with tools to combat the pandemic. We’ve launched more than 200 new products, features and initiatives — including the Exposure Notification API to assist contact tracing — and have pledged over $1 billion to assist our users, customers and partners around the world. 


Today, when people search on Google for information for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States, we present them with a list of authorized vaccines in their location, with information on each individual vaccine from the FDA or CDC, as relevant. We also provide them with information about vaccination locations near them in Google Search and Google Maps, when that information is available. On YouTube, we launched COVID-19 information panels directing viewers to the CDC’s information about the virus and, later on, about vaccines. These information panels are featured on the YouTube homepage, and on videos and in search results about the pandemic. Since March 2020, they have been viewed over 400 billion times. And we continue to work with YouTube creators to pair them with health experts who can get the facts to a wide range of audiences — we promote this content in our “ask the experts” feature.


Another way we’ve been helping is by offering over $350 million in Ad Grants to help more than 100 government agencies and non-profit organizations around the world run critical public service announcements (PSAs) about COVID-19. Grantees can use these funds throughout 2021 for things like vaccine education and outreach campaigns. 


In parallel to our efforts to elevate authoritative information about the pandemic and vaccines, we have worked across our services to combat harmful misinformation about these topics. Across our products, we’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting harmful and misleading medical or health-related content. When COVID-19 hit, our Trust and Safety team worked to stop a variety of abuses stemming from the pandemic, including phishing attempts, malware, dangerous conspiracy theories, and fraud schemes. We took quick action to remove content that promoted inaccurate or misleading claims about cures, masks, and vaccines; our teams have removed 850,000 videos related to dangerous or misleading COVID-19 medical information, and in total, we blocked nearly 100 million COVID-related ads throughout 2020. Our teams have also been planning for new threats and abuse patterns related specifically to COVID-19 vaccines. For example, in October, we expanded our COVID-19 medical misinformation policy on YouTube to remove content about vaccines that contradicts consensus from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control or the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Developing clear and transparent policies

We were able to act quickly and decisively because of the significant investments we have made over years, not only to make information useful and accessible, but also to remove and reduce the spread of harmful misinformation. Across all of this work, we strive to have clear and transparent policies and enforce them without regard to political party or point of view. We work to raise up authoritative sources, and reduce the spread of misinformation in recommendations and elsewhere. Teams across the company work in a variety of roles to help develop and enforce our policies, monitor our platforms for abuse, and protect users from everything from account hijackings and disinformation campaigns to misleading content and inauthentic activity. And we don’t do this work alone; we work closely with experts to stay ahead of emerging threats.

Supporting innovation in journalism and the development of new business models

At Google, we believe that a vibrant news industry is vital to tackling misinformation on a societal scale. We invested millions to support COVID-19 related fact checking initiatives, providing training or resources to nearly 10,000 journalists. In addition to helping journalists tackle misinformation, we have long been committed to supporting newsrooms and journalists in the United States and abroad. Over the past 20 years, we have collaborated closely with the news industry and provided billions of dollars to support the creation of quality journalism in the digital age. 


We share a strong interest in supporting a diverse and sustainable ecosystem of quality news providers. Our products are designed to elevate high quality journalism and connect consumers to diverse news sites — from global media companies to smaller digital startups. 


We are proud that our services help people all over the world find relevant, authoritative news about issues that matter to them. Each month, people click through from Google Search and Google News results to publishers' websites more than 24 billion times — that’s over 9,000 clicks per second. This free traffic helps new publishers increase their readership, build trust with readers and earn money through advertising and subscriptions. We also recently announced a new investment in Google News Showcase and committed $1 billion over the next three years to pay publishers to produce editorially curated content experiences and for limited free user access to paywalled content. In less than one year, we have been able to partner with over 500 publications across more than a dozen countries, spanning global, national, regional, metro and local publications.


Our commitment to the future of news extends beyond our products and services. We launched the Google News Initiative to support journalistic innovation and the emergence of new business models. Since 2018, we have committed $61 million in funding to support more than 2,000 news partners across the United States and Canada. As part of this initiative, we have also helped more than 447,200 journalists develop knowledge and skills in digital journalism through in person and online trainings through the Google News Lab. And when the pandemic hit, we turned our resources to support local news organizations and fact-checkers — contributing $10.6 million to over 1,800 local newsrooms across the U.S. and Canada through our Journalism Emergency Relief Fund and committing $6.5 million to combat Covid-19 misinformation. We look forward to continuing this work with our partners in the news industry to ensure a thriving and healthy future for journalism.

The role of Section 230 in fighting misinformation

These are just some of the tangible steps we’ve taken to support high-quality journalism and protect our users online, while preserving people’s right to express themselves freely. Our ability to provide access to a wide range of information and viewpoints, while also being able to remove harmful content like misinformation, is made possible because of legal frameworks like Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. 


Section 230 is foundational to the open web: It allows platforms and websites, big and small, across the entire internet, to responsibly manage content to keep users safe and promote access to information and free expression. Without Section 230, platforms would either over-filter content or not be able to filter content at all. In the fight against misinformation, Section 230 allows companies to take decisive action on harmful misinformation and keep up with bad actors who work hard to circumvent their policies.


Thanks to Section 230, consumers and businesses of all kinds benefit from unprecedented access to information and a vibrant digital economy. Today, more people have the opportunity to create content, start a business online, and have a voice than ever before. At the same time, it is clear that there is so much more work to be done to address harmful content and behavior, both online and offline.


Regulation has an important role to play in ensuring that we protect what is great about the open web, while addressing harm and improving accountability. We are, however, concerned that many recent proposals to change Section 230 — including calls to repeal it altogether — would not serve that objective well. In fact, they would have unintended consequences — harming both free expression and the ability of platforms to take responsible action to protect users in the face of constantly evolving challenges. 


We might better achieve our shared objectives by focusing on ensuring transparent, fair, and effective processes for addressing harmful content and behavior. Solutions might include developing content policies that are clear and accessible, notifying people when their content is removed and giving them ways to appeal content decisions, and sharing how systems designed for addressing harmful content are working over time. With this in mind, we are committed not only to doing our part on our services, but also to improving transparency across our industry.


I look forward to sharing more about our approach with you today, and working together to create a path forward for the web’s next three decades.

Investing in America in 2021

One of the best parts of my job is getting the opportunity to visit the communities that Google is a part of across the U.S. Whether it’s meeting small business owners in Pittsburgh, congratulating graduates of our Google Career Certificates in Dallas, or visiting a classroom of kids learning to code in Oklahoma, these trips have always filled me with optimism and insight.

Obviously in-person visits haven’t been possible over the past year. Yet I continue to be inspired by the stories I’ve read of teachers moving to virtual classrooms, local shops taking digital orders, and job seekers enrolling in online courses to sharpen their skills. It’s why I believe a lasting economic recovery will come from local communities, and the people and small businesses that give them life. 

Google wants to be a part of that recovery. That’s why we plan to invest over $7 billion in offices and data centers across the U.S. and create at least 10,000 new full-time Google jobs in the U.S. this year. This includes investing in communities that are new to Google and expanding in others across 19 states.

A map with pins showing the locations of Google's data centers and offices. 19 states are shaded to indicate new 2021 investments.

Investing in our offices

Coming together in person to collaborate and build community is core to Google’s culture, and it will be an important part of our future. So we continue to make significant investments in our offices around the country, as well as our home state of California, where we will be investing over $1 billion this year. Outside of the Bay Area, we’ll keep growing our offices across the U.S., including plans to add thousands of roles in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York. This will help bring more jobs and investment to diverse communities as part of our previously announced racial equity commitments. We’re already making progress: 2020 was our largest year ever for hiring Black and Latinx Googlers in the U.S., both overall and in tech roles.

Expanding our data centers 

In addition to Google offices, we’re investing in data center expansions in Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and Texas. Our existing data center sites in Nebraska, Ohio, Texas and Nevada will be fully up and running in 2021. Our data centers are what powers your searches, emails, photos and the maps that help you find the fastest way home; they’re also important to the fabric of local communities, from providing opportunities for supply chain partners and small businesses to supporting distance learning in South Carolina and Nevada.

Creating more economic impact 

Not only will these investments enable us to create new opportunities in the places where we operate; they’ll also make it possible to provide products and services that help boost economic recovery. In 2020, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and Google advertising tools helped provide $426 billion of economic activity for more than 2 million American businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers, according to our2020 U.S. Economic Impact Report, released today. For example, Corinna relies on the reviews on her Business Profile to attract new customers to Celsious, an eco-friendly laundry service and public space in Brooklyn, NY. In South Carolina, Tay and Sarah use YouTube for business tips and inspiration daily, helping Bobby’s BBQ draw lines around the block for its famous all-purpose seasoning.

In addition to helping businesses adapt and recover during the pandemic, the Android app ecosystem, including Google Play, helped support 1.9 million jobs in 2020—from software engineers and mobile applications developers, to marketing and human resources teams. And YouTube creators started and grew their businesses on the YouTube platform, creating over 345,000 jobs for Americans last year. That’s in addition to the more than 84,000 Googlers we employ full-time throughout the U.S.

Where we’re investing in 2021

Across offices and data centers, here are more details on where our investments will be focused in 2021.

South


We’re increasing our investment in our South Carolina data center, establishing our newest Cloud engineering site in Durham, North Carolina, and opening the first U.S. Google Operations Center in Southaven, Mississippi. In Virginia, we’ll open our new Reston office building and expand our Loudoun County data center. In Texas, the new data center in Midlothian is now operational, we’re opening our first Houston office and continue to invest in our campuses in Austin. We’re continuing to invest in our Atlanta campus as well.


Midwest


Earlier this year, we established Google’s first Minnesota office in Rochester, and our data centers in New Albany, Ohio and Papillion, Nebraska, are now operational. We’ll expand our data center footprint in Nebraska with an additional investment, and make further improvements to our Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Chicago offices. 

East


In 2018 we made a commitment to double our workforce in New York by 2028, and this year, we will continue to invest in building out our campus presence to meet that goal. We’ll continue to invest  in our Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offices, as well as increase our workforce in Washington, D.C.


Central + West


Our growth continues in Boulder, Colorado, and we will open our new office in Portland, Oregon, this year. We continue to invest in our Kirkland and Seattle campuses in Washington State. In California, we will continue to invest in our offices in the state and support affordable housing initiatives in the Bay Area as part of our $1 billion housing commitment. We project that our $250 million investment fund will help create 24,000 housing units by 2029. In Nevada, our data center in Henderson is now operational, with plans to expand it, along with our Storey County data center, in 2021.

Career certificates and more ways we’re helping job seekers

At Google, our mission has always been to make sure that information serves everyone in important moments, whether it’s helping you find a COVID vaccine near you or get a new job that creates a better life for you and your family.


For Rey Justo, the last year has been full of important moments. When the pandemic hit, he lost his job installing fireplaces in Sacramento, Calif., and he and his family had to move in with his grandparents. He had always been interested in technology, so he enrolled in the Google IT Support Certificate through Merit America. After completing the program in three months, he was hired as an apprentice at Zennify, a computer software company.


With more businesses embracing digital ways of working, it’s estimated that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. As U.S. job growth returns with more people getting vaccinated, we are committed to ensuring that all Americans have the skills they need to benefit from greater economic opportunity. To help, today we’re announcing new efforts, including opening up enrollment for our latest career certificates, expanding our employer consortium, and introducing new tools to improve the job search.

Enroll now: More Google Career Certificates

Starting today, enrollment is open for our latest Google Career Certificates, in the fields of Data Analytics, Project Management, and User Experience (UX) Design. We’re also announcing a new Associate Android Developer Certification, which prepares learners for entry level jobs in Android development. With 1.3 million jobs open in these fields right now in the U.S., the opportunity is significant.


We’re also providing 100,000 scholarships to be distributed through nonprofits, workforce development boards, and other community organizations such as Per Scholas, NPower and Goodwill. And we’re working closely with the National Association of Workforce Boards to make sure that local workforce programs, one-stop centers, and community employers know how to refer local job seekers to these certificate programs, as well as connect graduates to local jobs. 


These certificates have already been successful in bringing in more talent from groups traditionally underrepresented in tech: 53% of graduates of the IT Support Certificate in the U.S. have been female, Black, Latino or veterans. And 82% of graduates overall say the program helped them advance their career within six months, including getting a raise, finding a new job, or starting a new business. 

Get hired: Expanding our consortium to 130+ employers

More than 130 employers have joined our employer consortium, eager to hire people who have earned these certificates. Graduates can share their resumes directly with employers like Anthem, Verizon, Bayer, Deloitte, SAP, and Better.com, who are joining Accenture, Walmart, Infosys and, of course, Google. We’re also partnering with Guild Education, which works with Fortune 1000 companies, to bring Google Career Certificates to help some of the country’s largest employers upskill their workforce.


Not only is Google hiring these certificate graduates, we’re using the certificates themselves to upskill and reskill Google teams, from IT support techs to data analysts. We’re also opening applications for Google's apprenticeship program in our Career Certificate fields in addition to a few other professional tracks. We will hire hundreds of apprentices over the coming years to participate in on-the-job training and applied learning.


Globally, we’re sponsoring 100,000 scholarships for our Career Certificates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In India, we’re working to make certificates more accessible and launch an employer consortium. And in addition to our Career Certificates, today we’re also making our cloud computing, big data and machine learning trainings free for U.S. job seekers to help prepare for jobs in these high-growth fields.

Improving the Job Search experience

For many job seekers, it can be difficult to find open roles that match their experience and education. Over the past year, Google Search queries like “great jobs without a degree” spiked 850% in the U.S. Now when you search for “no degree jobs” in the U.S., you’ll see a new job carousel highlighting relevant opportunities near you. You can also filter by education and experience requirements, and there will be new labels on positions that do not mention degrees in their requirements. We’re also working with job sites — including Glassdoor, LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, Snagajob and CareerBuilder — and U.S. employers to make education and experience requirements clearer on job postings.

View of the new job search experience when searching for jobs with “no degree”

View of the new job search experience when searching for jobs with “no degree”

A more inclusive economic recovery

Since launching Grow with Google in 2017, we’ve helped 6 million Americans get training in digital skills and nearly 170,000 Americans get a new job and increase their income. Now, as economic recovery accelerates in communities around the U.S. and across the globe, we have an opportunity to help build an economy that is more inclusive and equitable. That’s what today’s announcements are designed to do, and we’re excited to partner with employers, community colleges, nonprofits and job seekers to make it happen.

How we’re helping get vaccines to more people

The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on communities worldwide. While there is much uncertainty still ahead, the development of multiple safe vaccines in such a short time gives us reason for hope. Now the work begins to ensure that everyone can benefit from this triumph of scientific achievement, and quickly.


During the pandemic, Google has helped people get the information they need to keep their families safe and healthy. We’ve supported small businesses and partnered with Apple to build exposure notification technology to fight the spread of COVID-19 around the world. Now, as public health authorities ramp up vaccination efforts, we’re finding more ways to help. 


We recognize that getting vaccines to people is a complex problem to solve, and we’re committed to doing our part. Today we’re announcing that we’re providing more than $150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable distribution and making it easier to find locally relevant information, including when and where to get the vaccine. We’ll also be opening up Google spaces to serve as vaccination sites as needed. 

$150 million to promote vaccine education and equitable access 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve helped more than 100 government agencies and global non-governmental organizations run critical public service health announcements through our Ad Grants Crisis Relief program. Today, we’re announcing an additional $100 million in ad grants for the CDC Foundation, the World Health Organization, and nonprofits around the globe. We’ll invest another $50 million in partnership with public health agencies to reach underserved communities with vaccine-related content and information.


Our efforts will focus heavily on equitable access to vaccines. Early data in the U.S. shows that disproportionately affected populations, especially people of color and those in rural communities, aren’t getting access to the vaccine at the same rates as other groups. To help, Google.org has committed $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, including Morehouse School of Medicine’sSatcher Health Leadership Institute and the CDC Foundation.

Highlighting authoritative information and local vaccination sites on Search & Maps

To help find accurate and timely information on vaccines, we’ve expanded our information panels on Search to more than 40 countries and dozens of languages, with more rolling out in the coming week. We’ll begin showing state and regional distribution information on Search so people can easily find when they are eligible to receive a vaccine. Soon we’ll launch a “Get The Facts'' initiative across Google and YouTube to get authoritative information out to the public about vaccines. 


Searches for “vaccines near me” have increased 5x since the beginning of the year and we want to make sure we’re providing locally relevant answers. In the coming weeks, COVID-19 vaccination locations will be available in Google Search and Maps, starting with Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, with more states and countries to come. We’ll include details like whether an appointment or referral is required, if access is limited to specific groups, or if it has a drive-through. We’re working with partners like VaccineFinder.org, an initiative of Boston Children's Hospital, and other authoritative sources, such as government agencies and retail pharmacies, to gather vaccination location information and make it available.


Two phones displaying the locations of vaccination sites in Search and Maps results

Search and Maps will soon show vaccination sites with important details

Opening our spaces for vaccination clinics 

To help with vaccination efforts, starting in the United States, we’ll make select Google facilities—such as buildings, parking lots and open spaces—available as needed. These sites will be open to anyone eligible for the vaccine based on state and local guidelines. We’ll start by partnering with health care provider One Medicaland public health authorities to open sites in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area in California; Kirkland, Washington; and New York City, with plans to expand nationally. We’re working with local officials to determine when sites can open based on local vaccine availability. 

Using our technology to improve vaccine distribution 

Google Cloud is helping healthcare organizations, retail pharmacies, logistics companies, and public sector institutions make use of innovative technologies to speed up delivery of vaccines. For example, logistics companies are using our AI to optimize trucking operations by adapting to traffic or inclement weather, and detect temperature fluctuations during transport. Once vaccines reach their destination, our tools help facilitate pre-screening, scheduling, and follow up. And our Intelligent Vaccine Impact Platform is helping states like New York and North Carolina manage distribution and forecast where vaccines, personal protective equipment, and hospital staffing will be most needed.


The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected every community all over the world. It’s also inspired coordination between public and private sectors, and across international borders, on a remarkable scale. We can’t slow down now. Getting vaccines to billions of people won’t be easy, but it’s one of the most important problems we’ll solve in our lifetimes. Google will continue to support in whatever way we can.

Source: Google LatLong


A more inclusive global digital economy

Editor’s Note: The following is adapted from remarks delivered by Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, at the Singapore FinTech Festival today on the need and opportunity to build a more inclusive global digital economy.


Thank you to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for the invitation to speak today—and for hosting this important event. While I hope we can have these big conversations in person again soon, I am grateful for all the ways that technology has kept us connected during the pandemic.


We’ve seen this year how online has been a lifeline. In Southeast Asia, 8 out of 10 people said that technology helped them navigate the pandemic, whether it was families searching for the latest COVID-19 information, small businesses using digital tools to reach new customers or students continuing to learn remotely.


Being helpful in these moments is at the core of Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We’re proud that users turned to products like Search, YouTube, and Maps to help people get through uncertainty, and that tools like Meet and Google Classroom helped keep people connected and businesses productive in these times. 


Southeast Asia’s digital transformation


COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital tools and trends by years. As a result, the Southeast Asian internet economy is on the verge of a massive transformation. A recent report we did with Temasek and Bain & Company shows that more than 40 million people in the region connected to the internet for the first time in 2020—that’s four times as many as the year before. In addition, one in three digital service consumers were new to a service, like virtual learning or buying groceries online. And 90 percent intend to continue using that service post-pandemic.


These digital trends aren’t just happening in cities. In places like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, more than half of first-time users were from outside metropolitan areas, which shows huge promise for closing the urban-rural digital divide.


While COVID has accelerated the use of digital tools, it’s also exposed how many people  are still left behind: from the 1.7 billion people around the world who are still unbanked, to the huge portion of African households without access to broadband, to millions of women entrepreneurs who lack the same access to opportunity as their male counterparts.


A more inclusive global digital economy


So the question is: how can we use this moment to reimagine a more inclusive digital economy? One that brings the benefits of the internet to everyone?


The answer is two-fold: First, by accelerating progress in closing the digital divide, which means expanding connectivity, financial inclusion, and digital skills. Second, by deepening partnerships between governments and business, which means  building on the new collaborations we’ve seen during COVID.  


Connectivity as the foundation


The question of inclusion and opportunity is deeply personal to me. Growing up in India, I didn’t have much access to a computer, or a phone. To make a call, I had to wait in long lines to use a shared phone with everyone else. So when our family finally got our first rotary phone, it changed our lives for the better, and it set me on a course to help bring technology to more people around the world. 


Today, an internet connection is the single best way to make technology available to more people. At Google, we are focused on the infrastructure—like the subsea cables we’re building between Western Europe and the West Coast of Africa, as well as the affordable, low-cost devices that can transform digital access—something our Android teams are working on with Jio Platforms in India.


Increasing financial inclusion with Google Pay


Of course, it’s not just about connecting to the internet that’s important, it’s about what people can do with that connectivity. One of the most exciting advancements is financial connectivity, which ensures that everyone can participate in the economic system.


That idea is what inspired us to launch Google Tez, now Google Pay, our first digital payment platform, in India in 2017. At the time, my home country was still largely a cash-based society. Since then, digital payments services have helped reshape how transactions are made. They’ve increased financial inclusion by making payments simple and seamless for over a hundred million Indians.


This historic shift has changed what’s possible for business owners like Vijay Babu, who runs a laundry shop in Bangalore. Two years ago, Vijay would have had to pay $100 for a credit card terminal, worry about printed receipts, and wait days to get paid. 


Today, with Google Pay, and a little help from his daughter, Vijay is able to keep better track of his transactions, accept payments remotely, and build relationships with his customers.


There are many others like Vijay. People are using Google Pay to do everything from send money home to their families and split the check for dinner. Kirana store owners are using it to pay their business expenses, as well as receive payments from their loyal customers.


All told, people in India complete more than three billion digital transactions a month, two thirds of which are taking place outside India’s biggest cities. Digital payment transactions across Southeast Asia are set to almost double to $1.2 trillion by 2025.


Now, we’re using the same technology to improve Google Pay globally, starting in Singapore and the U.S., with more to come. And we’re partnering with organizations like the Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Rockefeller Foundation and others to drive Mojaloop, a nonprofit creating open-source tools any country and organization can use to develop its own digital payments system.


Bringing digital skills and tools to more people


Connectivity is the foundation of a more inclusive digital economy. The next layer is ensuring that everyone, including small businesses, have access to digital skills and tools. One example is the work that the Asia Foundation is doing, with support from our philanthropic arm Google.org, to train 200,000 small business owners and workers across Southeast Asia. 


This program means local nonprofits can help people like Lakela, an avocado farmer from Thailand who used YouTube to learn how to grow other types of fruit, and create new revenue streams for her business.


We’re also investing in the innovation ecosystem, including entrepreneurs and start-ups, to ensure digital economies are sustainable.


Power of partnerships


We can’t do any of this alone. That’s why partnerships are the second part of our agenda.


We have good models to build from. One of the bright spots in this year has been the strong partnerships forged between companies, governments, and NGOs, working together toward shared goals. Building a more inclusive digital economy will require this same spirit of collaboration.


A place to start is digital trade. In Southeast Asia alone, it’s estimated that expanding business and trade through technology could add $1 trillion to overall regional GDP by 2025. And it will help entrepreneurs grow across borders, leading to more jobs, better services and new opportunities.


Unlocking those benefits requires the right frameworks. Singapore and the Asia Pacific region are pioneering new approaches. New digital economy agreements could provide a template for other parts of the world, alongside broader trade deals like the new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.  By maximizing these digital agreements—and creating new ones—we can pave the way for a stronger, more inclusive digital economy. 


From closing digital divides to forging new partnerships, our goal for the post-COVID world is to ensure the benefits of technology can be shared as widely and equitably as possible.  


If we can do that, 2020 will be remembered not as the end of the world we knew, but the beginning of a world that works better, for everyone. We look forward to building that world alongside all of you.

Sundar Pichai’s testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee

Editor’s Note: Today the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter are testifying before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. Read our CEO Sundar Pichai’s opening testimony below, describing how Section 230 makes it possible for Google to provide access to a wide range of information—including high-quality local journalism—while responsibly protecting people from harm and keeping their information private.


Chairman Wicker, Ranking Member Cantwell, and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.

The internet has been a powerful force for good over the past three decades. It has radically improved access to information, whether it’s connecting Americans to jobs, getting critical updates to people in times of crisis, or helping a parent find answers to questions like “How can I get my baby to sleep through the night?”

At the same time, people everywhere can use their voices to share new perspectives, express themselves and reach broader audiences than ever before. Whether you’re a barber in Mississippi or a home renovator in Indiana, you can share a video and build a global fanbase—and a successful business—right from your living room.

In this way, the internet has been one of the world’s most important equalizers. Information can be shared—and knowledge can flow—from anyone, to anywhere. But the same low barriers to entry also make it possible for bad actors to cause harm.

As a company whose mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, Google is deeply conscious of both the opportunities and risks the internet creates. 

I’m proud that Google’s information services like Search, Gmail, Maps, and Photos provide thousands of dollars a year in value to the average American—for free. We feel a deep responsibility to keep the people who use our products safe and secure, and have long invested in innovative tools to prevent abuse of our services. 

When it comes to privacy we are committed to keeping your information safe, treating it responsibly, and putting you in control. We continue to make privacy improvements —like the changes I announced earlier this year to keep less data by default—and support the creation of comprehensive federal privacy laws.

We are equally committed to protecting the quality and integrity of information on our platforms, and supporting our democracy in a non-partisan way.

As just one timely example, our information panels on Google and YouTube inform users about where to vote and how to register. We’ve also taken many steps to raise up high-quality journalism, from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month, to our recent $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers.

Since our founding, we have been deeply committed to the freedom of expression. We also feel a responsibility to protect people who use our products from harmful content and to be transparent about how we do that. That’s why we set and publicly disclose clear guidelines for our products and platforms, which we enforce impartially. 

We recognize that people come to our services with a broad spectrum of perspectives, and we are dedicated to building products that are helpful to users of all backgrounds and viewpoints.

Let me be clear: We approach our work without political bias, full stop. To do otherwise would be contrary to both our business interests and our mission, which compels us to make information accessible to every type of person, no matter where they live or what they believe.

Of course, our ability to provide access to a wide range of information is only possible because of existing legal frameworks, like Section 230. The United States adopted Section 230 early in the internet’s history, and it has been foundational to U.S. leadership in the tech sector. It protects the freedom to create and share content while supporting the ability of platforms and services of all sizes to responsibly address harmful content.   

We appreciate that this Committee has put great thought into how platforms should address content, and we look forward to having these conversations. 

As you think about how to shape policy in this important area, I would urge the Committee to be very thoughtful about any changes to Section 230 and to be very aware of the consequences those changes might have on businesses and customers.

At the end of the day, we all share the same goal: free access to information for everyone and responsible protections for people and their data. We support legal frameworks that achieve these goals, and I look forward to engaging with you today about these important issues, and answering your questions.

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

Our $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers

One of the most enduring memories of my childhood is waiting for my father and grandfather to finish the paper over breakfast every morning so that I could get the latest headlines, especially in the sports section. To this day, my father still texts me whenever he sees something interesting in the news … which is a lot! I have always valued quality journalism and believed that a vibrant news industry is critical to a functioning democratic society. 

It’s equally important to Google’s mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Over the last several years, we’ve taken many steps to support the news industry, from sending 24 billion visits to news websites globally every month, to the Google News Initiative’s $300 million commitment, including emergency funding for local publishers globally to help with the impact of COVID-19 and our Digital Growth Program aimed at small and medium-sized publishers to accelerate their business growth.

But there is more to do. Today I’m proud to announce Google is building on our long-term support with an initial $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers and the future of news.

A new kind of news experience

This financial commitment—our biggest to date—will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience. Google News Showcase is a new product that will benefit both publishers and readers: It features the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight on the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences.
Google News Showcase

Google News Showcase will start rolling out in Germany and Brazil today and come to other countries over time

News Showcase is made up of story panels that will appear initially in Google News on Android. The product will launch soon on Google News on iOS, and will come to Google Discover and Search in the future. These panels give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets and related articles. Other components like video, audio and daily briefings will come next. 

This approach is distinct from our other news products because it leans on the editorial choices individual publishers make about which stories to show readers and how to present them. It will start rolling out today to readers in Brazil and Germany, and will expand to other countries in the coming months where local frameworks support these partnerships.

We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. The publications include award-winning national titles likeDer Spiegel, Stern,Die Zeit, Folha de S.Paulo, Band and Infobaealongside regionally and locally significant publications such as El Litoral, GZH, WAZ and SooToday. The number of news publications will grow as we work to expand News Showcase to other countries including India, Belgium and the Netherlands.

GLOBAL.png

We’ve signed partnerships for News Showcase with nearly 200 leading publications across Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.

News Showcase builds on our existingnews licensing program, which is already paying publishers for quality journalism, and other news-related efforts like Subscribe with Google, Web Stories and audio news. And it will give readers more context and perspective on important stories in the news and drive high-value traffic to a publisher’s site.

Our long-term commitment

Both News Showcase and our financial investment—which will extend beyond the initial three years—are focused on contributing to the overall sustainability of our news partners around the world. 

The business model for newspapers—based on ads and subscription revenue—has been evolving for more than a century as audiences have turned to other sources for news, including radio, television and later, the proliferation of cable television and satellite radio. The internet has been the latest shift, and it certainly won’t be the last. Alongside other companies, governments and civic societies, we want to play our part by helping journalism in the 21st century not just survive, but thrive.