Google: $962 million in economic activity in Virginia

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Google Inc. says that it generated $962 million in economic activity for Virginia businesses and nonprofit groups last year.

The owner of the popular search engine says that 39,400 advertisers and website publishers in Virginia generated $955.7 million in economic activity through its Google AdSense, AdWords and natural search programs in 2009. Google also said it donated $6.3 million to nonprofit organizations in the state through its Google Grants programs, which allow nonprofits to spend up to $10,000 on ads to educate the public or fundraise.

Across the country, Google says that it generated $54 billion in economic activity in 2009.

“It’s really an engine to grow a small business,” Claire Hughes Johnson, Google’s vice president for global online sales, said on a conference call with reporters.

The survey methodology included the direct amount Google paid to content publishers who display Google ads on their websites under the AdSense program, revenue from natural searches, and Google’s AdWords program.

Under Google’s AdWords program, businesses pay for sponsored links next to specific searches in Google. Google used economic studies from its own economist and independent study to assume that for every $1 spent on AdWords, $8 in profit is generated.

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