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!

The Inman Center Website - Amsterdam's 'IN' place to be online!

Love That New Website Smell!

Inman Manufacturing Company Historic Exterior PhotoBetween the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Horace J. Inman created machinery that revolutionized the box-making industry. Today, the Benefactors, Members and Volunteers at the Inman Center, in the beautifully refurbished Building #5 of that historic Amsterdam, NY complex, can share the story and engage their audience with two new digital assets.

Box-making Beacon’s Building Beckons Whole New Bunch

Over the past couple months, we’ve had the great pleasure of working with the good folks at the Horace J. Inman Senior Center, Inc., learning the history of the building and organization, and how today’s iteration of the story continues to benefit not only seniors, but residents of Amsterdam, Montgomery County and beyond, from every generation.

A historically significant start…

Inman Manufacturing Company Interior Ladder RaftersAs a boy, Horace J. Inman had been mechanically inclined, and as a young man, became a mechanic and engineer. The natural gift and later experience became valuable to him as he set about building, first for his own use, machinery to improve the quality and cut the cost of paper boxes.

The Inman Manufacturing Company complex, built at various times between 1877 and 1920, was used to produce much of the early paper box making machinery. This machinery had a significant affect on manufacturing and commerce, worldwide.

From this beginning and from these machines, Mr. Inman and the company he founded have built practically every different kind of machine used in the box making trade, down to the present day big combination machine which takes the stock from the rolls, cuts, scores, prints, dyes, folds, pastes and turns out the boxes complete in quantities of fifty to one hundred thousand a day. All with but one operator.

A new era…

inman-reception-setupRehabilitation of the Inman Manufacturing Company for use as the Amsterdam Senior Citizens Center was accomplished with funds from a Community Development Block Grant provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Mitigative documentation was prepared in November 1985, by E. Clark Devendorf, Director of Rehabilitation, Amsterdam Urban Renewal Agency.

Incorporated in 1986, the Horace J. Inman Senior Center, Inc., a 501c3 charitable organization, today makes its home in Building #5 of the original Inman complex. From these spacious yet warmly remodeled digs, the Benefactors, Volunteers and Members of the Inman Center – Amsterdam’s ‘IN’ place to be, host a multitude of clubs, programs and special events that cater not only to seniors, but to entire families and individuals of all ages in Amsterdam, Montgomery County and beyond.

Additionally, the space is available for rental as a reception hall or for a wide variety of events.

…a new challenge

We were approached by then Coordinator of Member Services, Tina Shave, in July, when the Inman Center website went off-line, and asked for help getting the website back online and recommendations on how to effectively move forward in a dynamic digital world.

After verifying that, unfortunately, the old website would not be recoverable, we set about creating a new website and Facebook presence that would allow the Center to communicate with current members, as well as allowing them to reach out to a whole new audience in ways that were new to them but imperative to learn, if the Center is to survive in the Post-boomer world.

Turning over the keys to Amsterdam’s ‘IN’ place to be online…

Jay 'turning over the keys'It has been a great experience meeting various center members and helping them learn how to communicate with current and prospective members, volunteers and benefactors in ways that will help the Center continue to thrive for years to come.

Here’s Jay showing some members around the new website which was built on the CyberChimps iRibbonII Pro Theme. This is a ‘responsive’ or ‘mobile-friendly’ theme, meaning that it re-configures and re-sizes its elements, in order to look great on any device.

You can find out about upcoming meetings and events on the Calendar Page, and find out what’s happening right now on their Facebook Community Page.

Then you’ll know why the Inman center is Amsterdam’s ‘IN’ place to be!

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