Google has announced its first eCity awards, recognizing one city in every state for the strength of its online business community. In North Carolina, Google gave that distinction to Cary for the high percentage of small businesses that leverage the Internet to connect with customers. Being an eCity won’t earn Cary cash prizes or awards, but it does earn the mayor a congratulatory phone call from Google and some hefty bragging rights.
“Cary has a long history of embracing technology as a way to provide opportunities and solutions that are cost-effective, innovative and sensible, and we appreciate Google’s recognition of our accomplishments,” Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, Jr. said in a statement from Google.
To determine a city’s rank, Google worked with independent research firm IPSOS. First, they measured which cities used AdWords, Google's online advertising tool, most successfully. Then, they took the top AdWords-using cities and randomly selected a sample of their small businesses to determine how well they used a series of online tools, including Yelp, online directories, social media and websites or blogs. Cary’s business community was ranked the most well-connected out of all North Carolina cities.
It’s the first year that Google has designated eCities, and Google public affairs rep Sam Smith says that it is slated to become an annual award.