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Google touts $80 billion contribution to US economy

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Google claims that its search and advertising products helped contribute $80 billion to the US economy last year, with $20 billion going to California alone

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In a self-congratulatory blog post published today, Google's VP for sales in the Americas claims that the company contributed $80 billion to the US economy over the course of 2011. Writing on the Official Google Blog, Margo Georgiadis emphasizes the company's impact not only on the e-commerce sector but also on what she calls "main street retail" — money spent offline in brick-and-mortar stores.

Self-promotion aside, Google's standalone Economic Impact site is actually worth checking out — it provides a state-by-state map of the US, with pop-ups showing the company's impact on local industries. According to the map, Google helped provide $20 billion of economic activity to Californian businesses alone, "enough to equip every Californian with their very own surfboard."

Faced by increasing regulatory pressure on virtually every side, Google spent a record $5.03 million on DC lobbyists in the first quarter of this year. But in tough economic times, it's things like this blog post that could make politicians think twice before going toe-to-toe with Mountain View.