July 2nd, 2012 | Published in Google Public Policy
The web is where we go to find things—that somewhere special to eat tonight, the directions to guide us there and suggestions for that one-of-a-kind present for the birthday girl. Ninety-seven percent of Americans who use the Internet are looking online for local goods and services using their computers and mobile devices.
The growth of our Internet use has naturally helped the ecommerce industry to expand rapidly over the past decade. But the web is also positively impacting brick-and-mortar businesses. According to Boston Consulting Group, American consumers who researched products online last year spent almost $2,000 actually purchasing those products offline. That’s almost $500 billion that went directly to main street retail. All in all, it’s clear that the economic impact of the web is huge; the Internet is where business is done and jobs are created.
We’re proud to be part of such a dynamic industry, and we’re committed to helping make the web work for American businesses. Through our search and advertising programs, businesses find customers, publishers earn money from their content and nonprofits solicit donations and volunteers. These tools are how Google makes money, and they’re how millions of other businesses do, too.
In fact, in 2011, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $80 billion of economic activity for 1.8 million advertisers, website publishers and nonprofits across the U.S. You can see the state-by-state breakdown on our economic impact website.
Take one example: King Arthur Flour, a great New England baking company. King Arthur has been a well-known local company since George Washington was President, but has recently used the web to grow into an internationally-renowned baking business. Similarly, Nebraska’s 80 year-old Oriental Trading Company shifted some of its catalog-based marketing to the web, and now sells 80 percent of their toys and novelties online. Or consider New Jersey’s Bornstein Sons home maintenance and repair contracting business, which was founded 70 years ago and recently began to advertise online. They now get one in four of their new customers from the web.
These are just a few examples out of the hundreds of thousands of businesses who are growing and hiring thanks to the web. And Google is committed to getting even more businesses online. Over the past year, we’ve been traveling the country with our Get Your Business Online program, encouraging businesses throughout the U.S. to create free websites and reach more customers. So far, we’ve worked with thousands of businesses to launch their new websites.
It’s a fact that the Internet is creating jobs and helping the American economy grow. And we’re proud to be a part of that process.