Home / Technology / Google is using its famously sparse homepage to brag about how much it helps the economy, and it’s a telling sign of the tech backlash

Google is using its famously sparse homepage to brag about how much it helps the economy, and it’s a telling sign of the tech backlash

Screenshot / Nick Bastone
  • On Friday, Google began promoting reports outlining its economic benefits on its famously spare homepage.
  • The reports show stats like how many billions of dollars the tech giant has helped generate and how many hundreds of thousands of businesses have leveraged its ad tools.
  • Google appears to have created these reports since at least 2009, but it’s unclear whether it has ever placed them directly on its homepage until now.
  • The company’s self-promotion comes as President Trump steps up criticisms of social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube, and as Democratic presidential candidates call for increased regulation of big tech companies.
  • Read more on the Business Insider homepage.

Want to see all the ways Google is helping the economy and creating jobs in your state? Just go to the Google homepage.

But you don’t need to type a search query.

Google has put a link to the information front-and-center on its Google.com landing page, one of the most visited pages on the internet.

On Friday, the tech giant began promoting its so-called state economic impact reports on Google.com. The link to the reports is one of the few pieces of information on the famously sparse white page other than the search box and the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.

The reports are localized, and what’s displayed depends on the state in which you live. In San Francisco, for instance, Google linked to its California economic report – which shows stats like how many billions of dollars the tech giant has helped generate and how many hundreds of thousands of businesses have leveraged its ad tools.

Screen Shot 2019 05 17 at 3.20.17 PMScreenshot / Nick Bastone

Google’s decision to lobby on its own behalf is interesting timing, given President Trump’s continued barrage on social media platforms, including Google’s YouTube. Just this week, the White House released a tool to report social media bias and censorship on platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Many of the Democratic candidates in the 2020 presidential race are vowing to increase regulation of “Big Tech” companies like Google, Facebook and Apple.

In its quarterly earnings conference call in October, CEO Sundar Pichai took time to talk up the company’s investments in the US economy, a novel talking point that has now become a standard part of the company’s quarterly talks with investors.

Read more: The White House created an online tool for Facebook and Twitter users to report examples of political bias and censorship

Based on online records, it appears that Google has created an annual national economic impact report every year since at least 2009. A Google spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s questions regarding whether this was the first time it has displayed these impact reports on the Google.com homepage.

Google occasionally puts links under its search box to promote major events like the US President’s State of the Union address, and to advertise its own products like the Pixel phones. But the economic impact reports seem of a decidedly wonkier nature for such a heavily visited consumer hub.

Friday’s decision surface the reports is also a reminder of just how much power and reach Google has to spread a message on behalf of itself.

Get the latest Google stock price here.

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About Alfred Jackson

Alfred R. Jackson writes for Technology section in AmericaRichest.

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