2015 Google eCities of America

Google eCity Award Selection Methodology

Just in case it doesn’t become clear from reading this post, here’s what Google needs you to know:

“The web is working for American businesses. [Google is] helping.”

Google eCity Award Winner AlbanyCongratulations to Albany, the center of New York’s Tech Valley, and popular area for technology firms and start-ups, on winning the 2015 Google eCities Award for New York!

Google’s eCity Awards recognize the strongest online business community in each state. These cities’ businesses are using the web to find new customers, connect with existing customers and fuel their local economies.

Small wonder that Albany is also home to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s nanotech college, which has pioneered innovations in solar energy, microchip manufacturing and more!

But, how are winning cities selected? The process is two-fold. First, from the eligible cities in each state is drawn a short-list. Then, the businesses within the cities them selves are scored.

Google eCity Selection ProcessGoogle and independent research firm Ipsos MORI analyzed the online strength of local small businesses in cities in all fifty states. The city with the highest scores in each state was designated a Google eCity.

Here is the eCities Selection Methodology:

STAGE 1 — eCities Shortlist

To develop the eCities shortlist, Ipsos assembled a list of all US cities, broken down by population size. Google then added the AdWords data for each city to calculate the top five cities in each of the 50 states with the highest AdWords penetration relative to population size.

    1. A list of all valid zip code areas and city names was created for each state with population data for each zip code area and city. Ipsos aggregated these zip codes to a city level to include both large and small populations within each city and also to prevent neighborhoods within the same city from dominating the list in each state.
    2. Google created an AdWords penetration figure for each city, by dividing the total population of each city by the number of AdWords customers in that city.
    3. If a city appeared in duplicate states the population and AdWords was aggregated and the city assigned to the state where its population was the largest.
    4. Ipsos was then asked to conduct desk research in each of the top five AdWords penetration cities in each of the 50 states.

STAGE 2 — Business Scoring

  1. Ipsos identified a random sample of 51 small and medium businesses (employing between 1 and 50 people) in each of the top 5 AdWords penetration cities from each state.
  2. The 51 businesses were divided according to company size:
    • Self-employed (1 employee) (n=17)
    • 2 to 10 employees (n=17)
    • 11 to 50 employees (n=17)
  3. The profile of small businesses in each city was quota’d according to employee band to ensure an even distribution of each.
  4. Each of the randomly selected businesses were then marked according to the following criteria:
    • Was it listed in an online directory (such as Yellowpages.com, manta.com and findthecompany.com)? (YES / NO)
    • Did it have its own website? (YES / NO)
    • Did it have a social network presence? (YES / NO)
    • Did its website allow eCommerce? (YES / NO) [Directly within the site, there must be a section to purchase product/service offered]
    • Did it have a blog? [This can be a page within the company’s website OR a page on a blogging site, e.g. Tumblr / Blogspot]
    • How did the website (if it has one) score on Google PageSpeed Insights — User experience score and speed.
  5. Each answer was given a score and the scores from each business were aggregated to provide the city with a total score. The city with the highest score in each region was then awarded eCity status.
  6. Scores were calculated as below:
    • Was it listed in an online directory? (YES / NO)
      [If Yes=1, if No=0]
    • Did it have its own website? (YES / NO)
      [If Yes=10, if No=0]
    • Did it have a social network presence? (YES / NO)
      [If Yes=5, if No=0]
    • Does its website allow eCommerce? (YES / NO)
      [If Yes=7, if No=0]
    • Did it have a blog? (YES / NO)
      [If Yes=3, if No=0]
    • How did the website (if it has one) score on Google PageSpeed Insights — User experience score and speed.
      User experience score (out of 100)
      Speed (out of 100)

The total score was calculated by the sum of all YES/NO scores + the average of the two Page Speed Insights scores.

Clearly, the bulk of this work (the actual online presence development, that is) was borne by the carpel tunnel syndrome addled hands of the small business owners and Web guys and gals of the Capital Region! You’re welcome!!!

Here’s how google helped:
  • $21.5 billion of economic activity Google helped provide for New York businesses, website publishers and non-profits in 2014.
  • 171,000 New York businesses and non-profits benefited from using Google’s advertising tools, AdWords and AdSense, in 2014.
  • $22,600,000 of free advertising was provided to New York non-profits through the Google Ad Grants program.
  • 4,000+ full-time Google employees in New York.

Here’s a link to more data on how helpful Google has been to New York business.

Here’s a link to data on how helpful Google’s been to small business in the whole country!