Google adds A$53bn of benefits to Australia according to new report

Google Australia and consultancy AlphaBeta have released new research that claims Australian businesses and consumers received an estimated A$53 billion in benefits through Google Australia’s search, advertising and entertainment platforms in a year.

The Economic Impact Report prepared for Google by AlphaBeta found that the annual economic value from Google’s applications and platforms are worth A$39 billion for Australian businesses, and A$14 billion for Australian consumers.

Google, Facebook, the Australian Government and several of the main media companies in Australia are currently in dispute about the role of Google in distributing news and how publishers should be compensated.

In 2018 Google Search accounted for 3.44 billion visits to large and small Australian news publishers, which equated to approximately A$218 million in value going to Australian publishers each year from Google traffic, according to Google.

Mel Silva: Google Australia and New Zealand managing director 

Google Australia and New Zealand, managing director Mel Silva said the report showed that despite a tough year, Australian businesses had increasingly moved online to provide vital services.

“Australia has ambitions to be a leading digital economy and Google is pleased to be supporting that ambition,” she said.

All information in the report is derived or estimated by AlphaBeta using both proprietary and publicly available information such as data from The Australian Bureau of Statistics, Hootsuite, IAB Australia, Nielson, Statista and We Are Social. The primary data was collected from a consumer survey of 535 internet users in Australia by AlphaBeta.

The total economic benefits presented by Google Search, Google Ads, AdSense, Google Maps, Google Play, and Ad Grants comprise of A$32.7 billion in revenue gains and advertising grants, and A$6.3 billion in time savings (measured in equivalent wage terms).

A majority of Google’s business benefits, 97% go to non-technology sectors such as professional services, construction, and retail, while about 60% of the total benefits are realised by small and medium enterprises.

Online advertising platforms such as Google Ads and AdSense have increased the opportunities for businesses to conduct targeted advertising, bringing products and services to target audiences. Google Ads is estimated to generate A$31.7 billion annually in the form of net returns to Australian businesses from investing in placing advertisements on Google Search results of relevant keywords. Online search advertising tool has proved to be particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report, as businesses have shifted activities online.

The Economic Impact Report also detailed consumers using Google received A$14 billion in annual benefits through increased productivity, convenience and improved access to information.

On average, Australian users save almost five days a year thanks to access to instantaneous information offered by Google Search, while Australian drivers using Google Maps saved 5.6 hours on roads each year by optimising trips through its technology.

AlphaBeta director Fraser Thompson, said of the findings: “As a rapidly growing number of Australian businesses and consumers buy, sell and interact with each other online, tools like Google’s search, advertising, maps and productivity platforms generate significant value for businesses and consumers throughout the nation.”


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