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Feb. 13, 2008
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
wmullens@emich.edu 734.487.4400

EMU creates program to help nonprofits with Web exposure through Google

YPSILANTI — The next time you visit the sponsored links portion of the Google™ search engine, you may be helping an Eastern Michigan University student complete an assignment while supporting an area non-profit organization.

Eastern Michigan University and Google Inc. have partnered to create a program in which EMU College of Business students are helping selected, local non-profit organizations improve their Web recognition via Google Grants™. Google Grants providesfree Google AdWords™ advertising to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations to help them reach their online constituents.

“With the Google partnership, we’ve been able to develop a one-of-a-kind course offering.” said Bud Gibson, professor of business at EMU. “Students have a unique opportunity to learn how search engine advertising increases traffic to their business and how they can capitalize on that traffic.”

“This project is the perfect example of what we are trying to achieve in the College of Business,” said David Mielke, dean of EMU’s College of Business. “It combines the applied focus of our education, the preparation of our students to be very competitive in the job market with skills that meet the needs of today’s markets and to provide support for the broader community, such as our not-for-profits, and to be actively partnering with companies.”

Gibson’s class is divided into five groups with each group working closely with a local non-profit organization, which receives in-kind advertising dollars via Google Grants.

Area nonprofits involved include Blight Busters of Detroit, Chelsea Center for the Arts, Dawn Farm, the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn and the Phoenix Ensemble of Ann Arbor.

“With most nonprofits, budget is everything,” said Barbara Logan, marketing coordinator of the Arab American National Museum. “We wouldn’t be able to do anything like this without them. It has been a very positive experience and we are completely proud to be a part of it.”

“The students are focused and professional,” said John George, executive director and founder of Blight Busters in Detroit. “By looking at our Web site, they understood the focus of our mission. It’s early on, but we’ve gotten 20,000 impressions. That’s a dream come true!”

Impressions are defined as each time an ad appears before a user alongside search results on Google.com.

The project will continue until the end of the semester. Once the teams settle on the most effective keywords for their links, they will turn their attention to helping their non-profit partners with their actual Web sites.

“We get to take what we learn and apply it to real life,” said Colin Loomis, a junior from Ann Arbor who is working with the Blight Busters team. “It’s cool to be able to tell your friends and family to go to Google and they can see something we have done.”

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

Google, Google AdWords and Google Grants are trademarks of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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