Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's deputy web editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Before buying anything, almost all consumers use the Internet to research a product or service they want. Any business without a webpage is practically handing these customers over to their competitors. But these businesses are in luck because in ten states, Google is offering a fast, free and easy way for companies to have a web presence. At "Get Your Business Online" one-day events held in partnership with state and regional economic development agencies, businesses can build a website for free in under an hour with the help of a web marketing professional. Businesses will receive a domain name, a three-page site and web hosting free for one year. Since the first event kicked off in Texas in July, more than 20,000 businesses have created websites, according to Google's Global Communications and Public Affairs Manager Becca Ginsberg. Events are being held this week in Michigan, Utah, and Iowa.