Google and Four US States Improve Public Access to Government Websites
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) today announced partnerships with the states of Arizona, California, Utah and Virginia to make it easier to search for hard-to-find public information on state government websites.
“Connecting citizens with their government by offering the public better access to public sector information and services is consistent with our broader vision – to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
These partnerships developed as both Google and officials with the four state governments recognized that the public is increasingly turning to search engines like Google to access government services, but that a significant share of the information on state agency websites is not included in its index of information sources on the web. As a result, many online government services can be difficult for the public to find.
“Connecting citizens with their government by offering the public better access to public sector information and services is consistent with our broader vision – to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “These partnerships are among many that Google is pursuing with government agencies to better serve the public.”
California joins Arizona, Utah and Virginia as one of the first states to partner with Google to improve accessibility of their online services.
“California state government provides tremendous resources online for the public to learn about our great state," said California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Our partnership with Google will empower Californians to know more about our government and provide better access to services and helpful information.”
To improve access to state agency websites, technology managers in the four states increased the amount of state information that is accessible through a Google search.
This means job seekers in Utah can now search on Google for employment in the state and find job postings provided by the state’s Department of Workforce Services. In Virginia, search engine users interested in the region’s colonial history can now find a greater variety of online resources provided by the Commonwealth’s archive, the Library of Virginia.
“Transparent digital government is a top priority in Virginia,” said Tim Kaine, Governor of Virginia. “Our goal is to provide easy, quick and intuitive citizen access to every government resource. Google is helping us to achieve it.”
Looking up information on education and health services in California has also become easier, as agencies in the state have begun opening their databases to search engine users. For Arizona home buyers, a Google search for real estate professionals now leads to records in the Department of Real Estate’s database of licensed agents.
“Government must be innovative in order to offer the best possible services to citizens,” said Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, Chair of the National Governors Association. “Through this Google partnership, Arizona is continuing to fulfill its responsibility to make state government as open and accessible as possible to the public.”
While taking the step of opening more web pages to their citizens, the four states have also upgraded the search tool offered on some of their agency websites to encompass the full range of government information a citizen may be seeking. Using the Google Custom Search Engine™ service, the states of Virginia and Utah now provide visitors to Virgina.gov and Utah.gov the ability to search for information from all sectors of government. Now, a tourist considering a visit to either state can conduct one search to find information on parks and recreation, whether provided by a federal, state, or local government source.
Google has helped state officials implement these website improvements at no cost to the states. The Custom Search Engine service is free to government and private sector website owners.
For information on how a government agency can make it easier to search for hard-to-find public information, visit http://www.google.com/publicsector.
About Google Inc.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
Google and Google Custom Search Engine are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.