Google, known primarily for its Internet search engine, opened offices in Ann Arbor in 2006. The main local office works on AdWords, the keyword-based text ads that are displayed alongside Google searches.
The firm describes its Ann Arbor operations on its website:
Our Sales teams work as consultative partners to support AdWords advertisers across North America both large and small. We help drive successful marketing and advertising campaigns across multiple media platforms including Search, the Google Content Network, Mobile, and YouTube.
The local offices are led by Mike Miller. Google staff also worked on a scanning project at the University of Michigan Libraries.
Since 2008, Google's main Ann Arbor office has been located downtown in the McKinley Towne Centre, on East Liberty. In the spring of 2015, Google announced plans to build an Ann Arbor campus on the city's north side – 140,000 square feet of space on property owned by First Martin located at 2300 Traverwood Dr. – with an expected completion date of 2016.
Google, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., was co-founded by University of Michigan graduate Larry Page, whose relationship with then-UM President Mary Sue Coleman played a key role in the company's decision to locate to Ann Arbor. The company indicated that it also was attracted to Ann Arbor's entrepreneurial sector and young talent.
May 2015: Confirms its decision to consolidate operations in a new Ann Arbor campus in the city's north side – 140,000 square feet of space on property owned by First Martin located at 2300 Traverwood Dr. – with an expected completion date of 2016. About 400 employees work at the downtown office in McKinley Towne Centre.
April 2015: Leases 30,000 square feet in The South State Commons II building located on Oakbrook Drive in Ann Arbor, off of South State Street just north of Eisenhower Parkway, The building, which is also home to Plante Moran and Merit, is used for employee overflow while a campus on the city's north side is constructed. The offices were formerly occupied by Internet2, which relocated to the former Borders headquarters in 2014.
2012: Employs about 300 workers.
2009: Google's Ann Arbor site leader, Grady Burnett, is promoted to become the firm's director of global online sales, relocating to California. He is replaced by Mike Miller as Ann Arbor's "head of office."
January 2008: Moves into roughly 85,000 square feet of office space in the McKinley Towne Centre at 201 S. Division in Ann Arbor, occupying several floors. At the time, the company expected eventually to employ 1,000 workers. The lease expires on April 30, 2016.
2006: Receives approval from the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) board for a tax credit of up to $38.25 million over 20 years, based on the expectation that the firm would hire 1,000 workers. The Washtenaw Economic Development Council paid the firm's $5,000 application fee for the credits. Although the company didn't meet its hiring target, it wasn't forced to pay back taxes because MEGA tax credits were distributed on an incremental basis per hired employee. The MEGA tax credit program was discontinued in 2011 as part of Gov. Rick Snyder's business tax reform legislation, but previous tax credit recipients were allowed to keep their credits.
2006: Gets up to 400 free parking spaces for four years from the city of Ann Arbor, as incentive for locating downtown.
September 2006: Opens Ann Arbor office for AdWords staff. The office is located in the second floor above Vinology on Main Street.
In the News
Leaders say Google shows commitment to Ann Arbor with new campus – MLive, May 2, 2015
Google plans major corporate campus in Ann Arbor – Detroit Free Press, May 1, 2015
Google to build new corporate campus in Ann Arbor – MLive, May 1, 2015
Google plans expansion in Ann Arbor – Detroit News, May 1, 2015
Google signs deal for new Ann Arbor office near Briarwood Mall – MLive, April 17, 2015
Google Doesn't Hit Ann Arbor Job Projections, But Still a Media Favorite – Michigan Capitol Confidential, Nov. 7, 2014
McKinley to list Google's Ann Arbor office space for lease, MLive, November 6, 2014
Google: $3.1 million Michigan tax lien related to disputed Michigan Business Tax payments – AnnArbor.com, March 21, 2013
CEO Podcasts: Conversations on Economic Opportunity, Google's Mike Miller – AnnArbor.com, Aug. 7, 2012
Google up to 300 workers in Ann Arbor after five years – AnnArbor.com, Feb. 1, 2012
Google completes outdoor deck construction at downtown Ann Arbor office – AnnArbor.com, May 27, 2011
Google plans to add jobs in Ann Arbor as global hiring accelerates – AnnArbor.com, Jan. 25, 2011
Google reports $906M economic impact on Michigan – AnnArbor.com, May 25, 2010
Google Jobs Lacking, Yet Some Locals Still Consider It a 'Badge of Honor' for Ann Arbor – Michigan Capitol Confidential, May 17, 2010
How many Google employees are in Ann Arbor? 204 by one count – AnnArbor.com, Oct. 19, 2009
Grady Burnett leaves Ann Arbor Google office – Ann Arbor Business Review, June 2, 2009
Guest Bloggers: Google Ann Arbor (Grady Burnett, Karen Godwin, Matthew Neagle, Michael Anuzis, John Kelley) – MetroMode, February 2008
Google still aiming for 1,000 hires for Ann Arbor AdWords HQ, Ann Arbor Business Review, Jan 2008
Google shows off its Ann Arbor offices – MetroMode, May 22, 2007