Google Generated $54B for U.S. in 2009 with Ads, Grants, Search

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-05-25 Print this article Print

How do you counter criticism that you are a greedy giant that likes to pummel user privacy for profit?

Show you can be open and then show how much money companies are making because of your products.

Google did both this week. On May 24, Google revealed its ad revenue splits for its AdSense for content and search products.

Today, Google announced that it helped American businesses, Website publishers and nonprofit organizations make $54 billion in some form of commerce or another in 2009.

That's a staggering number ... until one considers that Google banks almost half that each year from the advertising it enables. But that's another story.

Far more useful is Google's report of its economic impact at the state level, which users can now see and download here.

This impact comes from Google Search, AdWords, AdSense and Google Grants, according to this Web page.

Claire Hughes Johnson, vice president of Google's global online sales, and Google Chief Economist Hal Varian flesh out exactly how the numbers were derived in this video:

Of note, Varian said, is that, "The value of Google Search and AdWords for businesses is the profit they received from the natural and paid search results, minus their cost of advertising, estimated as $8 of profit for every dollar spent."

Laying it on thicker is Johnson, who noted:

In a time of tighter budgets and a slow economic recovery, we're glad to support so many small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country by helping them find new customers more efficiently and monetize their websites through targeted advertising.

I'm especially touched by all Google is doing to make money for (and from) my home state of Connecticut:


This is, of course, dwarfed by how much California benefits from Google's good business practices:


All nice touches, but privacy watchdogs, consumer advocates and the politicians they influence in the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission will see this for what it really is: an exercise in back-patting disguised as fiscal philanthropy.

These parties are still gunning for Google until they get a piece of the action. Oh, yes, there will be blood. Regulators just have to believe that they are in the right (hello, FTC on AdMob) and they will find a way to gouge Google. |

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