The year 2020 felt particularly sluggish—and simultaneously much, much too fast. With so many things happening in the world (and far fewer things happening in my day-to-day quarantine life), it’d be easy to forget what exactly occurred and when.
So humor us while we—gasp!—revisit the past year a bit, and take a look at some of what we worked on here at Google. Because as slow as the year may have felt at times, what didn’t happen in 2020?
1. As COVID-19 began to spread, we made sure that Google products were supporting people during the pandemic—and especially what Search and News could do to surface relevant, accurate information. More than once, we turned to Dr. Karen DeSalvo, our Chief Health Officer, for her insights on the pandemic, including information about the coming vaccines. In April, we partnered with Apple to use Bluetooth technology to create Exposure Notifications System, which is now being used by public health authorities in more than 50 countries, states and regions around the world to anonymously inform people if they’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
2. Part of fighting COVID-19 means supporting businesses and communities. Our $800 million commitment to small and medium-sized businesses was one of these initial efforts. We made it easier for businesses to update their profiles using Search and Maps, and gave them new ways to communicate with customers. For people who needed to find work or forge new careers, we launched a new suite of Google Career Certificate programs. We also found ways to support Black-owned businesses, with new funding for Black founders and the launch of the Black-owned business attribute for Business Profiles.