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Google on Wednesday announced it is increasing annual Ad Grants commitment by another $200 million to now offer $1 billion to nonprofit organisations globally.

The $1 billion grant is to help nonprofits that are tackling pressing issues like Covid-19 response and recovery, especially in developing economies, the company said in a statement.

Google also announced new updates to help small businesses.

It has expanded ‘Smart’ campaigns to 150 countries and make it easier and faster to sign up for this using the Google Ads app.

You can set up a Smart campaign and create your first ad in just 15 minutes while on the go.

“Starting today, you can use Smart campaigns to display a prominent, square-shaped Google Maps pin with your business category logo, highlighting specific services that you offer, like curbside pickup or delivery,” said Google, adding that it is bringing ‘Promoted’ pins to ‘Smart’ campaigns advertisers for free through the end of September.

Google said it has seen searches for local services, like ‘carpet cleaning’ or ‘air conditioning repair’ increase by 50 per cent in recent months.

“We’re now making it easier to book these services directly in Google Search on mobile through Local Services Ads in the US,” informed the company.

Local Services Ads help people discover and connect with trustworthy, local professionals backed by Google Guarantee.

Later this month, the company would launch a new mobile site for the US and Canada, to help more people find, compare and book nearby service providers faster.

The company said its Shopping tab will now show helpful local store information, including product availability, locations, and fulfilment options like delivery and curbside pickup.

This information will show up in all countries where the Shopping tab is available.

The company also introduced ‘Local Opportunity Finder.’

‘Enter the name of your business and Google will provide personalized suggestions on how to make improvements to your Business Profile on Google,” it said.

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