“Michigan has been Googled,” said Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm at a news conference yesterday in Landsing. What that means exactly is that Google plans to open a facility in Ann Arbor that will employ 1,000 workers over the next five years. The new facility will serve as the headquarters of its AdWords contextual advertising division.
The new facility will be a much-needed expansion to AdWords, which is facing upstart competition from Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter. AdWords already reaches more than 80% of all internet users, according to Google, and serves ads in more than 40 different languages. The facility will also be a boon to Michigan, which has been facing an economic crisis with the decline and cut-backs of U.S. auto makers.
Michigan has offered Google $38 million in tax breaks over the next two decades. In return, the Google facility is expected to indirectly generate 1,200 jobs in the surrounding community, in addition to the 1,000 AdWords employees. Google co-founder Larry Page is a Michigan native himself and a graduate of the University of Michigan, which is located in Ann Arbor. He, of course, was a major proponent of the Michigan facility.
According to Google’s online sales director, David Fischer, Google also wants to tap more of that Midwestern potential. “We worry less about experience than raw talent,” he said at the press conference. “We’ve had tremendous success hiring people straight out of universities, with majors from engineering to art history.”