I’m Joining Google As Head of Local

Roughly five years ago I secretly interviewed at Google for a position. At the time we both agreed there wasn’t a fit.

But the past couple of weeks I’ve been in talks with Google about a role at or near the top of their local team. I was initially surprised when I received a call from them a month ago. There’s been a shuffle in personnel over there and there’s something of a “crisis of leadership” going on in local. Finally yesterday at the Where 2.0 show they made me an offer that was very hard to refuse — so I didn’t.

It was an extremely difficult decision and very hard to give up my role as independent blogger and “pundit.” But the stability, money and opportunity to lead Google’s growth in the local, mobile and SMB markets proved compelling. I’m now going to be steering local on the PC and in mobile, on both the product side as well as handling SMB ad products. 

I’m very excited and hope to continue working with all or most of you but in this new position of power and authority.

I’m not sure whether they’ll allow me to keep this blog — probably not. In the event that this is one of my final posts, let me say I’m very grateful to all of you for your comments, feedback and support since 2006.

37 Responses to “I’m Joining Google As Head of Local”

  1. Mark Whittaker Says:

    Greg, this is terrific news for you, but a loss for those of us who are regular readers of the information and insights your provide. Thanks for all of the work you’ve put into this blog.

  2. Marc Says:

    What a great date to announce such a “step” 🙂 🙂

  3. April Fools 2010 From Google & Others Says:

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  4. teamgreen Says:

    Congrads, hope you dont stop blogging. Perhaps you will become the “Matt Cutts” of local!

  5. Josh Walker Says:

    I know your threshold for pain is high, but I don’t think it is this high. Happy April fools, Greg. Good luck at Topeka.

  6. Brad Says:

    You mean you are the new head of local for TOPEKA. 🙂

  7. Brad Says:

    Sorry only just saw Josh’s response

  8. Kate Bowler Says:

    Surely this is an April Fools joke Greg??? Or have you finally decided that you need to earn a living rather than being an unbiased industry guru?

  9. Earlpearl Says:

    How surprising. They contacted me this morning and said I would have the job as head of local. Showed me an org chart. You are in charge of increasing sales to local and smbs. Your chief asst is MBlumenthal. My first advise to you is to tell him to quit moralizing and sell, sell, sell.

    We will be meeting at a local Starbucks to discuss ongoing strategy any day now. Look forward to it. 😉

  10. Bastiaan Says:

    🙂 nice move! LoL

  11. Chris Silver Smith Says:

    Congrats, Greg!!!

    Will you have to commute on the Wi-Fi enabled buses to Mountain View, or will you be telecommuting more?

    I imagine one strong reason Google wants you is to leverage your background as a former attorney in order to help protect them from class action suits over reviews, a la Yelp.

  12. Greg Gerber Says:

    Wow congrats!

  13. Joe Says:

    And while it makes perfect sense….I am calling shenanigans!

  14. Rick Szatkowski Says:


    Congrats on your new gig! Looking forward to seeing what we can do together going forward.

  15. Pat Says:

    Best April Fools post of all time!

  16. Eric Says:

    Greg, I know you are a recovering attorney so must know well the concept of Caveat Emptor. Happy April fools.

  17. Chris Warfield Says:

    Hahah…well played sir 😉

  18. emad Says:

    Congratulations, Greg!

    Oh, and, BTW, Happy April Fools!

  19. Craig Says:

    Sorry to read this on April 1 — would be a great move for Google!

  20. Jeff King Says:

    Hah! You got me! Nice Greg.

  21. Mike Says:

    So what are you plans for the Google Reseller Program? 🙂

  22. Greg Sterling Says:


    I will be reinstating the program with more favorable terms for the partners.

  23. Mike Says:

    That’s you as in your…. 🙂

  24. Clyde Wilson Says:

    That’s funny because I bought Google last week and have not seen your name on the “new hire” list…

  25. Joel Says:

    I will miss your “no posts for a while” posts the most Greg. As well as the accompanied seasonal picture or “google map.”

    We enjoyed this at Yodle HQ. I would have thought Celine Dion back up singer would have been your next move though… : – ).

  26. Earlpearl Says:

    Scratch the idea of back up singer….move over Celine…make way for the new star!!!!!!

  27. Mo Raja Says:

    Greg, congratulations. Great move. I think those who freelance will appreciate your reasons. You have made a great contribution to the local debate and we will miss the daily updates. Be gentle on the industry now that you have the “force” behind you!

  28. Mo Raja Says:

    Now for the real email 🙂 Pull the other one Greg!!

  29. Pat Says:

    I hope this is a joke. I hope. If not, then best of luck, but I think this is a joke.

  30. April Fools: I’m Not Joining Google « Screenwerk Says:

    […] Screenwerk Greg Sterling’s Thoughts on Online and Offline Media « I’m Joining Google As Head of Local […]

  31. Blend Local Map Marketing Silver Package Says:

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  32. Local Search Wrap Up 4/2/10 Says:

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  33. Joel H Says:

    Welcome to the team!

  34. Blend Local Map Marketing Bronze Package Says:

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  35. marcelo antelo Says:

    If you’re not allowed to keep this blog surely I´ll miss your info, your tips and your writing very much!

    Congrats to you and to Google of course!!!

    And very good luck, you’re the perfect feet for the perfect shoe!

  36. Nicholas Says:

    Greg, congratulations on the new position and journey. I enjoy your blog and hope it doesn’t go away. Google maps is a great resource for small business but the there are some serious bugs.

    – no reporting info for a number of listings upon live launch
    – locations are slow to show up in results or not at all
    – lost of control for coupons specifically the never expires”
    – removals of old or duplicate listings are cumbersome and take months to complete.
    – phone verification is spotty or sometimes not available.

    I hope you can be an agent of change with the aforementioned.

    On the good news, I am delighted about the targeting feature newly implemented.

    Best wishes.

  37. April Fools 2010 From Google & Others | GetMeSEO.com Says:

    […] I assume this is a joke, our very own Greg Sterling is joining Google […]

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