Google, that company which is now both a verb and a noun, is the undisputed king of search. It is also my favorite technology company, and its stories are some of what motivates me in both digital and social media marketing. It’s amazing then that it has opened the Google Philippines office today.
The opening of the Google Philippines office has two big implications, in my opinion. One is immediate, and the other is longer-term
Having a Google office in this developing country shows that one of the, if not the, biggest technology companies in the world sees much potential in the economic and technological development of the Philippines. And why not? With 33 million Filipino Internet users and the Philippines’ status as the second top Internet user in Southeast Asia, the potential market is just huge.
Google’s launching of a local office in the Philippines means that advertisers – businesses of all shapes and sizes – will have a smoother and easier experience when it comes to pushing their brand/business out there. A local office ensures that there is cultural and social understanding of the Philippine mindset, and not just a purely business-oriented relationship.
Education, in particular, will greatly benefit. Three good schools have already “Gone Google” – 50,000 students of Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and University of Zamboanga connected with Google apps and products. Just imagine how many more schools can do so even easier with a local office in place.
The Distant but Attainable Future
The Managing Director of Google Southeast Asia, Julian Persaud, shared a prediction that Internet users in the Philippines will double in the next three years. That’s a staggering 66 million Filipinos. With such a massive audience for businesses, the opportunities in the next few years are priceless.
The user experience is everything for Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In fact, this near-fanatical obsession with user satisfaction is a big motivator of why I advocate fast and content-rich blogging. Anyway, the November 2012 launch of the Google Free Zone in the Philippines was an innovative step to Internet usage; in fact, a Free Zone (where Google products like Search and Gmail are made available for free) has never been implemented before. As our country becomes the ‘test bed’ for this venture, Filipinos will play a vital role in the enabling of ‘the next billion users’.
The partnership with the Philippine government is something to watch out for as well. Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III revealed that Google is assisting the government in the intricacies and optimization of Google+, as well as best usage on other products like Google Maps (which proved to be immensely helpful during national crises). This is something to watch out for.
It’s a very exciting time ahead of us, as Internet users and as Filipinos. I personally wish the Google Philippines office much success, and to keep innovating, inspiring, and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and technology.