Google hosting Jackson workshops to help small businesses, individuals grow

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JACKSON, MI – Google your favorite local restaurant.

For most places, you’ll notice the result isn’t limited to websites. There’s also a box on the right side of the page with details like a description, photo, address, hours, menu, phone number and reviews.

While much of the information is magically pulled from other parts of the internet, the businesses themselves can have some control on what shows up in that box.

This task, among many others, is one of the skills Google teaches during its Grow with Google workshops – which are coming to Jackson on June 14.

“It’s really practical,” said Erica Swanson, head of community engagement at Google. “The reason it matters is because, increasingly, consumers are looking to the web to find information about small businesses in their community.”

Jackson is one of three Michigan stops for Google’s workshops, with others planned in Grand Rapids and Taylor. Four workshops are planned, in addition to one-on-one coaching sessions available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event is hosted at the Jackson District Library Carnegie Branch, 244 W. Michigan Ave.

Google chose Jackson as one of its three Michigan stops because of the library and the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Swanson said.

The two workshops that still have space target nonprofits and individuals looking to use tools like Google Docs, respectively. Coaching sessions range from as simple as opening an email account to more advanced techniques like analytics, ads and search engine optimization.

Each session can host about 50 people. The workshops and coaching sessions are all free, although two workshops are already full. Participants should register online in advance.

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