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Frequently asked questions

What’s the purpose of this report?

The purpose of the report is to highlight how small business owners across industries in all 50 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, are using Google Search, Google Play, Google Cloud, YouTube, and Google advertising products to connect with customers and create economic activity for their local communities. This is the fifteenth year that the report is being released.

How did you come up with these estimates?

Make sure to read through our Methodology page for information on how we draw from data sources to derive a conservative estimate of Google’s economic impact.

How did you determine that the value of Google Ads is $2 for every $1 spent?

Our chief economist, Hal Varian, based his estimate of the economic value provided by Google Ads on observed cost-per-click activity across a large sample of our advertisers. Assuming advertisers are maximizing profits, Hal estimates the value enjoyed by advertisers is between 2 and 2.3 times their total expenditure on Google Ads. We use the lower end of the estimate to be conservative. To learn more, we recommend taking a look at Hal’s study.

Can you say more about how you determined the 5:1 ratio for search and ad clicks?

This ratio refers to 5 clicks on an advertiser’s search results for every 1 click on their ads. In the study we cite, academics Bernard Jansen and Amanda Spink used data from the search engine Dogpile, and this was the ratio they observed in that data set (the exact figure was 5.3:1, but we rounded down to be conservative). To learn more, you can read their study referenced in our methodology.

Why do you aggregate the number of advertisers, publishers, creators, and developers and the value they receive, rather than break them out separately?

As part of our financial disclosure policy, we do not explicitly break out the exact number of advertisers, publishers, creators, and developers. We also do not break out the revenue we receive from U.S. advertisers and pay out to U.S. publishers, creators, and developers separately.

You said that clicks on search results aren’t necessarily as valuable as ad clicks. Why is that?

There is evidence that ad clicks are more valuable than search clicks. For one, advertisers control the message of their ads. And many advertisers choose to buy ads even when they are high up in the search results. If we counted the search clicks one-to-one with ad clicks, the value Google provides to advertisers would be larger than the number we report. To be conservative, we do not assume that search clicks are as valuable as ad clicks and instead assume they are 70% as valuable.

You said that Google directly connected more than 18 million businesses to their customers for free, what does that mean?

Our tools, specifically Google Business Profile, allow customers to connect directly with businesses through actions such as phone calls, bookings, reservations, reviews, messages, requests for directions, and more. In 2023, there were over 18 million businesses in the U.S. that were connected directly to customers by Google for free.

How can my business use Google tools?

Is this the first time you have released these numbers?

No. We have released this report every year since 2009 and plan to continue releasing it annually.

Where can I learn more about how Google is creating and building belonging in our workplace, products, and society?

You can visit Belonging.Google and read our Diversity Annual Report to learn more about how Google is creating and building belonging in our workplace, products, and society.