Google Unveils Public Policy Blog

    June 18, 2007

With the new Google Public Policy Blog, transparency’s the name of the game; Googlers will explain the company’s position on issues that could affect us all.

“Yes, we’re a multinational corporation that argues for our positions before officials, legislators, and opinion leaders,” admits Andrew McLaughlin, Google’s Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs, in one post.  “At the same time, we want our users to be part of the effort, to know what we’re saying and why, and to help us refine and improve our policy positions and advocacy strategies.  With input and ideas from our users, we’ll surely do a better job of fighting for our common interests.”

Aw . . . isn’t that nice?  As you may have guessed, some people consider the unveiling of this blog to be a sort of PR ploy.  “The decision to go public and the reasoning behind the blog I would guess has to do with the growing public sentiment against Google simply because they are getting so big,” admits MG Siegler.  “Google still has its ‘do no evil’ policy in place but as it continues to expand it’s no doubt getting harder to fulfill this promise to all users.”

Still, even without a Public Policy Blog, Google’s always been pretty good about expressing itself – that’s one reason you see more WebProNews stories about it than Yahoo or Ask.  Siegler adds, “I think it’s perhaps even taken for granted when Google takes the time to even respond to these controversies and state their views on policy.  Plenty of non-Internet companies simply don’t even acknowledge sticky situations and just continue on hoping people will forget – and it usually works.”

But rather than forget, Google’s hoping people will respond – the search engine giant has enabled comments on its Public Policy Blog, and McLaughlin encouraged readers’ active participation.  Google’s posts may be pretty scripted – there is certainly a PR aspect to this whole thing – but the blog should be interesting, nonetheless, and the existence of the “Comments” section could lead to some unique insights.