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Google is blowing up its Seattle presence, already the company’s third largest after Mountain View and New York City, reports the New York Times.

Google plans a major recruiting effort to increase its Seattle-area engineering staff by as much as five times. There is already fierce competition among tech companies for talented engineers, and many of those with skills in cloud computing work at Google’s rivals in Seattle.

“We’re not the first in this rodeo, but we have the history of Google,” said Brian Goldfarb, Google’s leader of cloud platform marketing, who joined the company last year after a decade at Microsoft. “We have the best data centers on the planet. You can’t really give engineers a bigger, badder thing to work on.”

Google is also adding 180,000 square feet to its office in Kirkland, Wash., which together with its Seattle office already houses more than 1,000 employees, making it Google’s third largest in the country after its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and its office in New York.

Oh, some interesting  App Engine Stats were slipped into page 2:

The company says that 250,000 developers use it to run 1 million apps that generate up to 7.5 billion page hits a day.