Google is taking Washington politics seriously. Like many other massive corporations, the company is working hard to gain and wield influence among lawmakers. After largely avoiding politics in its earlier years, the search giant has become one of the top five lobbying powers over the past two years. In 2012, it ranked above all others, save General Electric. It's only natural that a company as large as Google would be involved in politics, but the scale of its efforts in Washington — and the speed at which it's become a major player — is striking. The Washington Post has taken a fascinating deep dive into Google's efforts in politics, which extend beyond lobbying and campaign contributions to more innovative forms of steering the debate and gaining influence.