Tech giant Google has unveiled a project that it hopes will help small enterprises in Britain to grow by harnessing the power of the internet.
The California-based web firm has invested millions into launching its ‘digital garages’ – drop-in facilities through which it will advise company bosses on optimising for mobile devices through responsive web design, creating successful ecommerce platforms and maintaining constructive search engine optimisation practices.
The first Google help centre will open on 30th March in Leeds, no doubt interesting those looking to learn about SEO in West Yorkshire. It will remain there for six months before moving on to another five UK cities.
According to Reuters, 200,000 small companies are expected to benefit from the advisory service, which Google is offering with the help of the Federation of Small Businesses and the Confederation of British Industry.
The move comes as part of Google’s promise in February to offer internet skill training to one million Europeans by 2016, which it made after coming under fire for its dominance in a number of digital services, including search.
Speaking about the online capabilities of businesses, the managing director of Google in the UK and Ireland, Eileen Naughton, said that less than a third of small enterprises currently have an effective presence online. Google, she confirmed, wants to “jump start” the remaining two-thirds of businesses.
Naughton explained that, unlike larger companies, small firms lack access to large IT infrastructures and tech development. She said that, as Google has never before set up small “outposts” like the drop-in centres, the drive represents an “exciting experiment” for the search company.