Google celebrated its 1oth anniversary in Canada by doubling its staff and indicating hopes to have an even larger presence in 2012.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based search engine first moved north in 2001, and Head of Mobile Advertising Eric Morris was one of the first Google Canada employees to start work for the North American sect.
“Canada is one of the fastest growing markets for Google and it’s one of our big bets corporately,” said Morris. “It’s a market that Google is very committed to and investing in heavily in terms of resources and growing very, very quickly.”
In 2002, according to Morris, Google projected that 70 percent of Canada’s population would be online by 2017. Canada reached 79 percent in 2010.
“In 2010, 93 percent of households with three or more people, as well as those with at least one member under the age of 18, had home Internet access,” reported a recent Canadian Internet Use Survey. “By contrast, 58 percent of one-person households had home Internet access.”
With such progress in Internet access, Morris said Google Canada employees work on some of the world’s top projects, such as Gmail, mobile applications, commerce, and even making the Internet safer and faster with Chrome and malware protection.
“So lots and lots of technological innovation has come from Canada,” Morris explained. “Some of the smartest, smartest talent we have corporately comes out of Waterloo and some other places in Canada.”
Some Canadians have questioned why they are not among the first to gain access to premier Google features, especially with such global innovation advances.
“Yeah, I think that’s frustrating. I’m a lover of tech and even because I work here I don’t always get access to everything that I read about,” Morris said, while noting Google Voice —in particular— as the “toughest one.”
“It’s something we’re working on,” Morris added. “These are complicated products — when we can we launch globally — but there are some nuances to products, whether it’s language issues or policy-related issues, that make global launches more challenging.”
Canadians also do not have access to Google Wallet that allows a user to make payments in stores with a smartphone. Although, earlier this year, Google started the Get Your Business Online program to help Canadian small businesses establish and embrace a web presence.
Canadian businesses are lagging when it comes to adopting e-commerce, but Google views it as an opportunity.
“We think it’s going to happen here and it’s increasing each year. And as a result, that’s a place Google wants to invest in to try and accelerate that process,” Morris explained. “Canada is certainly ripe for that kind of technological innovation … so we hope to see it take off here soon.”
As for other corporate hopes, Morris said Google will “hopefully” double its staff again in 2012: “We hope to continue that robust pace well into 2012. We’re going to continue to expand our business here and continue to hire and continue to invest in Canada.”
Google Canada currently has 13 job openings listed in various career fields, such as advertising sales, engineering operations, human resources, and more.