Google's Get Your Business Online initiative is having far-reaching impacts beyond simply getting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the developed world online that do not already have a web presence. The initiative has been implemented in emerging markets as well, bringing online capability, SEO potential, and economic opportunity to specific countries in the developing world, particularly in Africa and Central Asia. I discussed Google's Get Your Business Online initiative in an International Business Times piece yesterday where I described the background of the initiative, its offerings, and the opportunity for SEO for the many new businesses that will find themselves online in these developed markets. Now, with its expansion into emerging markets, it is a promising development for several other reasons.
The first promising aspect is that these efforts will boost commerce in these countries in both the short and long-term. Like their counter-part initiatives in North America and Europe, giving companies the nudge online will widen their exposure and allow them to reach more customers thus growing their businesses. Many of these companies are at a pivotal point and this assistance will give them the boost to turn the corner and become sustaining, viable operations.
Secondly, the impact the companies that do get online due to the initiative in the developing countries will have a much greater relative impact on their economies than the impact made by participating businesses in North America and Europe. This does not place the importance of one over the other, but affirms the true value of the initiative to act as a catalyst in the developing world. Most of these businesses will be in a more favorable position to grow and expand their operations as they establish a larger customer-base. The larger the collection of businesses that do the program, gain online exposure, and grow revenue, the greater the impact of this influx of stronger, more profitable SMEs will be on the local economies.
SEO companies that specialize in paid search and international search engine optimization can also benefit from this growing sector of SMEs. Many of these SMEs may have customer-bases that will extend beyond their national borders for the first time, thus requiring expert assistance in driving targeted traffic. Check back on Monday for the rest of my thoughts on the economic impact of this initiative in specialized emerging markets.