Tag Archives: Google in the Middle East

Join the Women of AdSense summit

Google AdSense is proud to partner with so many inspiring and successful businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We believe that the uniqueness of the people running these businesses is integral to what we do, and we love to see this diversity shining through the content you produce. 

We’d like to show our support by inviting you to the Women of AdSense summit, which fosters leadership, inclusion and connection in the AdSense community. March is Women's History Month, a time to highlight the contributions of women throughout history and in contemporary society. We’d love to celebrate with you at the summit, which will take place on Wednesday, March 31 and is free to registered participants.

During the event you will: 

  • Discover opportunities to grow your publishing business through monetization and content development.

  • Hear stories from your fellow women publishers.

  • Learn more about balance and resilience from our guest keynote speaker.

This virtual event is aimed at empowering Women of AdSense across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, we welcome anyone who's interested in attending as an ally and supporting women in the workplace and beyond.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, March 21. Apply to participate in the event and get ready to be inspired!


Source: Inside AdSense


Fostering innovation in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa

As part of our continuous effort to support the news industry around the world, we are launching our second Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. It’s an open call for projects that increase reader engagement and explore new business models to build a stronger future for journalism.

Last year, we selected 21 projects from 13 countries: Israel, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, UAE, Iraq, Turkey, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana. In South Africa, online news publisher Daily Maverick developed a “relevancy engine” for small and medium publishers to help them better understand reader insights and increase relevancy and increase subscriptions. In Jordan, podcast startup Sowt developed a new hosting platform for Arabic news podcasts. You can find out more about all of last year's recipients in this Keyword post.

Round 1 recipients Food for Mzansi showing their support

Round 1 recipients Food for Mzansi showing their support

Applications are open from now until April 12. Established publishers, online-only players, news startups, publisher consortia and local industry associations are all eligible to apply. Projects will be evaluated against five criteria: impact on the news ecosystem, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion; inspiration; and feasibility. The selected projects will be eligible to receive up to $150,000, not to exceed70%of the total project cost. We will not be funding any editorial-only projects, but instead are focusing on projects aimed at increasing reader engagement and exploring new business models. 

How to apply

Applications, in English only, must be made online via our website and are open until Monday, April 12 at 23:59 GMT. We will also be holding an online town hallon March 3 at 13.00 GMT with a live presentation and the opportunity to ask questions. (Please note that Google does not take any equity or IP in any projects or submissions.) 

We are looking forward to seeing new ideas, projects and big bets come out of the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, a region rich with talent, potential and opportunity. For more information about the challenge, visit g.co/newsinnovation

Celebrating Fredy Hirsch’s queer legacy of bravery

The day I first learned about Fredy Hirsch was a normal workday in 2017. I’d just gotten off the bus and was walking to my home in south Tel Aviv. I’d recently been spending my commutes listening to the six-hour testimony of Dina Gottliebová Babbitt, an artist and Holocaust survivor, on the USC Shoah Foundation’s YouTube channel

I was absorbed in the story of her heroic and traumatic experiences as a young woman in the Theresienstadt ghetto and Auschwitz-Birkenau. Then she started talking about a fellow prisoner in Theresienstadt, Alfred “Fredy” Hirsch. “He looked like a toothpaste advertisement. He had this shiny, slicked-back hair, very handsome face and an incredible grin, white-white teeth. He was the epitome of tall, dark and handsome.”

And then, in what would be a deeply meaningful moment of affirmation of my own queer and Jewish identity, she casually mentioned that Fredy was gay. “It was an open thing, we all knew that he was gay…. We didn’t make anything out of it at that time. He was just one of us.” 

Her tone was so nonchalant it was hard to believe her words had been recorded almost two decades earlier, in 1998. And it made me very emotional. It was the first time in my life I’d heard a Holocaust survivor referring to the existence of an LGBTQ prisoner. 

Before I could process my reaction, she added, “Very often gays are maligned, spoken of badly. I think it’s important that if we know somebody that great — and he was great — who happened to be gay, that we say so. It should be known.”

So I set out to do just that: learn everything I could know about him. I searched for more information on Fredy Hirsch but, at the time, was disappointed that there wasn’t much to find.

Eventually I learned that he was a gay German-Jewish refugee to Czechoslovakia and a gymnastics teacher. As Jews were marginalized, incarcerated and ultimately systematically murdered, he took on an increasingly important role as a community leader and youth counselor to many children — first in the Zionist youth movement Maccabee Hatzair and later in Theresienstadt. When he was deported to Auschwitz he created and managed two children’s barracks, making them a relatively safe haven for hundreds and brightening their final months. They had heat during the winter, enjoyed bigger portions of food and received an education that included Hebrew and English classes, sports, arts and a strict hygiene protocol. Many Holocaust survivors have said that they owe their lives to Hirsch.

Somehow, under horrific and brutal circumstances, he was able to achieve the unthinkable — and this in spite of being Jewish and homosexual, which put him at the bottom of the camp’s cruel hierarchy. Survivors who knew him testified that SS officers treated him relatively well since he was a native German who managed to keep clean, maintain a neat appearance and practice sports. He eventually died at Auschwitz in March 1944.

I reached out to some LGBTQ and educational organizations, hoping they might consider introducing Hirsch’s story into their educational activities for teenagers, but nothing really came of it. It felt like a great injustice that his legacy and contribution were not being acknowledged.

Today Google is commemorating Hirsch with a Doodle appearing in Germany, Israel and several other countries on what would have been his 105th birthday.

It’s a step towards greater recognition of an important story that isn’t widely known. According to Rubi Gat, who created the documentary “Dear Fredy,” Czechoslovakia’s communist regime quashed Fredy’s story because he was a Jew and because his homosexuality didn’t fit into their narrative about who qualified to be a hero. 

Dr. Michal Aharony, editor of The Journal of Holocaust Research and author of the article “The Unknown Hero Who Saved Children at Auschwitz,” says that while Holocaust survivors who knew Hirsch spoke of him fondly and mentioned that he was openly gay, academic texts only started mentioning his sexual orientation in the past couple of decades.

I'm full of hope that Hirsch’s story will inspire others to commemorate the many LGBTQ historical figures who have never been properly acknowledged, and that future generations will benefit from their legacy. 

Above all, we should remember Hirsch as a symbol of solidarity and generosity, as a great believer in the power of a healthy lifestyle and mindset to deal with terrible circumstances, and as a hero who chose to help those who were most in need rather than to save himself. 

Mosul’s Art & Soul comes to life

Some of us only know of the Iraqi city of Mosul as a place where many have suffered. But there is much more to the city than its recent history. Once a thriving trade centre, Mosul endured years of conflict but also renewal. Mosul, which is nestled in the “cradle of civilization,” has a heritage that dates back to the 25th century BCE, and includes the breathtaking Great Mosque of Al-Nuri.


To shed light on its art and history while supporting contemporary Mosulian artists, we’re launching The Art & Soul of Mosul on Google Arts & Culture, in partnership with Iraqi community radio station Al-Ghad Radio.

The collection helps people immerse themselves in the world of Mosul’s artists through features like detailed in-painting tours and videos detailing the artist’s experience living through occupation. At the heart of the project is the incredible artwork depicting the stories of the city and the people, including the lives of women and children during and after the war. Some of the artwork was displayed during the 2019 exhibition “Return to Mosul,” hosted at the Mosul Cultural Museum. With this new digital exhibition, the pieces now have a permanent online home.


Marwan Tariq, an artist who participated in the 2019 exhibition, said, "The message of the workshop to the world is that the city of Mosul, the city of art, is still alive despite the destruction and grinding war that destroyed people and the infrastructure…it is full of life and peace." Our new online exhibition also includes personal stories of perseverance from Marwan and many other artists and residents of Mosul, including how one community worked together to rebuild their neighborhood.

As part of our efforts to support digital documentation and preservation of local heritage sites across the Middle East, you can also discover Mosul’s Old City using Street View and view 3D models of heritage sites at risk, such as Mosul’s first mosque and one of its oldest churches


The Art & Soul of Mosul is Google Arts & Culture’s latest project showcasing contemporary culture and the ancient heritage of the Middle East. To discover more of the region’s art, culture as well as more stories from around the world visit us online or through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android.

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.
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.

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.
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.

Zain Masri went from globe-trotting intern to marketing lead

Welcome to the latest installment of our blog series “My Path to Google.” These are real stories from Googlers, interns, and alumni highlighting how they got to Google, what their roles are like and even some tips on how to prepare for interviews.

In today’s post, meet Zain Kamal Masri from our Dubai office and learn about some of the many paths to joining the Google marketing team. You’ll also find out why she once carried a Street View trekker through the ancient city of Petra.

What first sparked your interest in working at Google?

When I was a university student, I participated in the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge, where students get real-world experience creating online marketing campaigns for nonprofits. I created my first-ever Google Ads campaign and experienced how the web can help any nonprofit, business or individual reach a global audience. 

I wanted to learn more about Google products, which led me to take part in Google AdCamp. I competed in a team-based advertising challenge: we went through a market and consumer analysis, developed a creative strategy and presented a final proposal to sales product experts. 

This motivated me to apply for an internship with Google’s marketing team while I completed my master’s degree. One of my internship highlights was helping capture the ancient city of Petra, Jordan for Street View—you can catch a glimpse of me carrying the Street View trekker (a device with a built-in 360-degree camera, hard drive and batteries to capture Street View imagery) in the launch film which was narrated by Queen Rania!

Zain in Petra 2

Zain with the Street View trekker in Petra, Jordan

Tell us about becoming a full-time Googler.

After completing my internship, a full-time role became available and I applied right away. While I was super nervous, I was (and continue to be) passionate about working at Google. I tried my best to reframe my nervousness as excitement and hoped that my passion and dedication would shine through. When I received the job offer email, I had to read it several times to fully register what I was reading. I felt so proud and immediately called my parents to share the good news. They were over the moon!

What do you wish you’d known when you started the process? 

Google has a wealth of programs for students and fresh graduates to gain experience and knowledge. I wish I knew more about the Associate Product Marketing Manager (APMM) program back when I was a student. As an APMM, you become part of a diverse community of the next generation of marketers and can access unique opportunities like rotations, bootcamps and mentorship.

What resources did you use to prepare for your interview or role?

Reading through the Google Arabia blog was extremely helpful as it gave me a deeper perspective on Google’s role in the Arab world and the top priorities and products in the region. It also helped to browse through the global Keyword blog and social channels.  

What’s your role at Google now?

I am currently the Head of Brand and Reputation at Google in the Middle East and North Africa. My role focuses on programs like Maharat min Google, which is a digital skills education program that helps youth, especially women, gain the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly digital economy. As part of the program, we created a series of short films that follow the journeys of six Arab women who have become entrepreneurs, women’s rights advocates and groundbreaking YouTube creators. We’ve trained more than 800,000 individuals, of which 50 percent are women, and 54 percent have found a job or grown in their business or career as a result of the program.

What inspires you to log in every day?

As part of my role, I manage Google Doodles for the Arab world. My main focus has been increasing female representation. Some of my personal favorite Doodles include Doria Shafik (one of the leading activists who helped women in Egypt win the right to vote) and Zaha Hadid (first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize). 

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Zain and her fellow Googlers at the Dubai office

“Accelerating Retail” in Europe, Middle East and Africa

Online tools have been a lifeline for many in lockdown, helping people stay connected with loved ones, work remotely, access news and information, and shop for essentials. The use of technology by people and businesses leapt forward perhaps five years over a period of eight weeks, and internet usage increased by 60 percent. Changes in consumer behavior are driving businesses to adapt the way they communicate with customers, while retailers around the world have seen their business models turned upside down.


Because of this big shift, digital tools and skills will be a vital catalyst to accelerate an economic comeback. Earlier this summer we pledged to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa find jobs, digitize and grow over the next 18 months. Retail, which accounts for more than 9 percent of jobs in the EU alone, will play a pivotal role in the recovery.


Today we’re kicking off "Accelerating Retail," a month of activities dedicated to helping retailers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa accelerate their business recovery and growth to be ready for what comes next. We’re helping retailers of all sizes across the region be ready for the peak shopping season, and working in close partnership with local commerce and trade associations in many countries. Over the next month, we'll introduce new products, tools, free training, unique real time insights and other resources—what follows is a brief snapshot of some of this.

Consumer needs have changed, and retailers need to respond

As the world around us has changed, consumer online shopping has leapt forward and decision-making has become more complex. Our Decoding Decisions study identified a “messy middle,” the space between a consumer starting their research and making a purchase, where they navigate the explosion of choice and information available to them both online and offline. 


The messy middle has become even messier over the course of the pandemic—our needs changed, product and store availability became unpredictable. Shoppers have become more open to new brands and outlets, but they also need more help than ever to find the right product at the right price at the right time and place. This big shift is an opportunity for retail businesses large and small. 


We’re here to help retailers respond effectively—so they can quickly understand and act on consumer changes while building their brand both at store and online.

Recovery and growth through digital 

Online retail demand has grown exponentially, and businesses need a great customer experience to be competitive and build brand recognition. That’s why we’re rolling out a new version of Grow My Store in multiple countries, including Germany, France, Netherlands and Turkey. Grow My Store helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize online customer experience,  to successfully complete  transactions. Any business can enter their website URL into the tool to receive a customized report, industry benchmarks, digital traffic trends and actionable tips to improve. 

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We’re also making it easier for retailers to reach the right potential customers. We’ll be upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to help with new customer acquisition and simplify advertiser onboarding. 

Meanwhile, for the first time we’ve released insights for specific fast-rising retail categories around the world via a new interactive tool in Google Search—including the queries associated with them.

What's next for online shopping

As online spend continues to grow, retail success will depend on delivering an integrated online/offline purchase experience. New research we’ve conducted in collaboration with Euromonitor found that in the next five years, most purchases will still be made in store—but retailers who bring together their digital and in-store offerings will make the biggest gains even if customers eventually choose to buy in store. Since consumers shop both online and offline, multichannel retailers and online marketplaces will drive 86 percent of the sales growth by 2024. The future of retail is not about either physical or online presence but an integrated consumer experience.

While there might be more change and uncertainty on the horizon, retail is critical to every region’s broader economic recovery. By embracing digital opportunities, retail businesses can drive resilience and growth. 

Look out for our "Accelerating Retail" updates through September—we're here to help retailers make the most of digital opportunities and prepare for what's next.

Unravel the symbols of ancient Egypt

Today marks the anniversary of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, the tool that first unlocked the mystery of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Ancient Egyptians used this writing system more than 4000 years ago to record their stories, but only a select group knew how to read and write them. 

But today, thanks to the new Google Arts & Culture tool Fabricius, anyone can interactively discover this fascinating language by means of three dedicated gateways: First, you can “Learn” about the language of ancient Egypt by following a short educational introduction in six easy steps. Secondly, Fabricius invites you to “Play” and translate your own words and messages into hieroglyphics ready to be shared with your friends and family.

And while Fabricius is your doorway to learn about and write in hieroglyphs, it thirdly offers new avenues for academic research, too. So far, experts had to dig manually through books upon books to translate and decipher the ancient language--a process that has remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Fabricius includes the first digital tool - that is also being released as open source to support further developments in the study of ancient languages - that decodes Egyptian hieroglyphs built on machine learning. Specifically, Google Cloud's AutoMLtechnology, AutoML Vision, was used to create a machine learning model that is able to make sense of what a hieroglyph is. In the past you would need a team of Data Scientists, a lot of code, and plenty of time, now AutoML Vision allows developers to easily train a machine to recognize all kinds of objects.

Available in English and Arabic, Fabricius is named after the father of epigraphy, the study of ancient inscriptions. We created it in collaboration with the Australian Center for Egyptology at Macquarie University, Psycle Interactive, Ubisoft and Egyptologists from around the globe. 

You can also explore more stories about the wonders of ancient Egypt, including the famous King Tutankhamun, the Pyramids of Giza and the Book of the Dead. And if you’re a teacher using Google Classroom, we’ve created resources on ancient Egypt for you to use, too.

Explore more stories about ancient Egypt by downloading the free Google Arts & Culture app, or visit the Google Arts & Culture website.

Free tools and training to help with economic recovery in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Through lockdown, many of us found that online tools have been a real lifeline. We’ve used them to find information and stay connected with our communities, support local businesses, teach our children and learn new skills ourselves. The same tools will be vital in helping countries recover more quickly and more sustainably. 

That’s why Google is making a new pledge to help 10 million people and businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) find jobs, digitize and grow over the next 18 months.

Helping people learn new skills and find new jobs

Long before the coronavirus, it was clear the jobs of the future would require a new set of digital skills, so we launched Grow with Google to help people learn new skills. We were blown away by the demand, and by what people went on to achieve, and in five years we’ve trained over 14 million people in EMEA and 70 million around the world.

We’ve seen a tripling of demand for this training during lockdown. To help even more families, communities and businesses recover faster, we’re investing in new, targeted programs. For example, we will be covering the costs for 100,000 people to take the Google IT Support Professional Certificatewhich prepares people for a career in IT. Fifty thousand of these places are reserved for under-served groups who otherwise face real barriers to learning (such as language, caring responsibilities or financial difficulty). Google.org will fund local nonprofits to provide the tailored support these people require to successfully complete the course.

To help people find new job opportunities, we’ll launch our job search tool in more countries in EMEA. We are testing new features for the recovery—such as helping you find jobs that let you work from home. Job search is built in partnership with job boards, local employment agencies and others, like Pôle Emploi in France, Bayt.com in the Middle East and Monster.de in Germany, and it also helps them by finding job seekers with the right skills faster.

We’ve learned over the last five years that we need to do more to reach those whose existing jobs are most at risk of disruption by new technology. Two years ago, we allocated 100m in Google.org grants, to be disbursed over five years to organisations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa that focus on digital skills and economic opportunity. Today, we're announcing that $15m of that funding will go to non-profits that help workers and small business owners who are technologically, financially or socially excluded with critical digital skills and access to jobs.

Grow with Google

Helping local businesses get online and find more customers

As we come out of lockdown, and consumer spending picks up, we’re upgrading our tools  to help more local businesses find and connect with customers quickly. Through Google my Business, it’s easier for businesses to share their latest opening hours and information across Google Search and Maps. They can also shift quickly to new services and business models, such as pick-up, delivery and online classes and appointments. 


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We are also investing in new programs to help industries hardest hit by the pandemic, including retail and travel. 

For retail businesses, online demand has grown exponentially, so they need to provide a great customer experience to be competitive. The improved version of Grow My Store helps local businesses improve digital shopping, grow customer traffic and optimize online stores. Reaching new audiences by exporting abroad should be an easy option for every business regardless of size. 

Our Market Finder tool now provides export marketing and logistics help in light of COVID-19. To help retailers understand changes in demand, we’re releasing a new interactive tool that shares insights on fast-rising retail categories in Google Search, where in the world searches are growing, and the queries associated with them.

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For the travel industry, we’re partnering with experts like the UN World Tourism Organisation to launch training to help tourism officials across Europe, the Middle East and Africa understand and use the range of digital tools to attract travellers. This builds on our efforts to support tourism businesses across the region to help them grow with digital tools, get access to training and digitize heritage

Helping businesses work more efficiently and think differently

The crisis has accelerated trends that we’d expected to see over a longer period of time, like the use of AI and automation to help grow sales, reduce costs, and make better decisions. Research suggests that the European companies using AI most extensively are likely to grow three times faster than the average firm over the next 15 years, adding €2.7 trillion, or 19 percent, to European output by 2030.

To make this accessible for every business, we’re launching our AI for business tool to small and medium businesses in Europe. The tool, in English, with more languages to follow this year, provides businesses with a personalised report recommending the most relevant applications of AI and the potential benefits, along with practical suggestions on how to get started. This is part of our commitment to build trust in AI through responsible innovation and thoughtful regulation, so that European citizens can safely enjoy the full social and economic benefits of AI. 

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Financial support for local businesses

A digital transition cannot rely on technology alone: businesses need financial resources as well. That’s why we announced grants and ad credits for local businesses a few weeks ago. And we’ve recently launched the ability for businesses in 19 European countries to add support links on Google My Business to give their communities the option to support them with donations and gift cards. We have also added several new partners to enable gift cards, including SumUp, LaFourchette, OptioPay, Rise.ai, and Atento. 

We remain fundamentally optimistic about the future, and about the role technology can play, and we’re working with governments to help people, businesses and communities. Online tools, which have been a lifeline for many of us in lockdown, are now helping people find jobs and learn in-demand skills. If we work together, technology can be a lifeline for everyone as Europe, the Middle East and Africa look ahead to a sustainable recovery for everyone.

To find out more about these tools and programs, visit g.co/grow.