The latest impact report commissioned by Google in collaboration with the research, strategy, and policy consultancy, Public First reveals how Google’s products contributed to the pool of opportunities for local businesses, content creators, and developers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Ideas and theories that once seemed unrealistic, have now become a source of revenue. With ample time on their hands, creators stepped out of the boundaries to explore their passions, and brands adopted fresh strategies and adopted new approaches to collecting consumer insights. The pandemic has been destructive, drastically affecting industries across the world but it also brought the world to a halt and gave brands, creators, and businesses the opportunity to reflect and renew.
In collaboration with the research, strategy, and policy consultancy, Public First, Google commissioned its annual Impact Report. The report depicts the impact of Google’s products such as Search, YouTube, and Maps in 2021 across three key areas: people, businesses, and the economy. The report draws an estimated contribution of Google’s products to the Middle Eastern economy, with Saudi Arabia being the highest at $3.25bn, UAE being the second highest at $3.08bn, and finally Egypt at $609 bn.
The report was collated from poll samples of 1,000 adults and 500 senior business managers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, respectively. To measure the economic activity, Public First used third-party data to estimate the total size of the Google Ads market in a given country, combining PWC Global Entertainment & Media Outlook in addition to Google’s published numbers for revenue.
According to the report, 85% used Google Search to learn a new skill and 67% used it to look for a job in 2021. UAE-based Iraqi content creator and chef by profession attracted a following of over 3 million on his YouTube channel and has now opened his restaurant in Dubai, UAE. Google Maps also contributed to the amplifying scene of local businesses in the UAE as 71% of the people used Maps to find local businesses around them. YouTube channels making 6 figures or more in revenue are up by 40% year over year according to Google’s Internal Data.
Since the pandemic has changed the dynamism of work culture, Google claims that 63% of online businesses consider Google Workspace (including meet, cloud storage, and other extensions) as essential in enabling remote working in the UAE. “When you are running a business and facing a lockdown and have the opportunity to be found by many new customers, our products work like a lifeline. This is really an opportunity to keep your business going and in turn, keeps us going,” commented Anthony Nakache, Managing Director for Google in the Middle East & North Africa.
In June 2021, Google announced that it would phase out third-party cookies in late 2023. The news led to a lot of apprehension among advertisers. As an alternative, the search engine introduced Topics under its Privacy Sandbox to help advertisers carry out measurement and tracking of consumer data. Commenting on the elimination of third-party cookies, Nakache said that it wasn’t possible for him to give a definite answer at the moment, “Cookies are just not the right solution to collecting data, it’s not respectful to the users’ privacy. But we are working closely with executives from the advertising industry to come up with a solution that works for both publishers and users. We don’t have a specific tool that captures personal data yet but we are helping advertisers understand their audiences better with existing solutions.”