Leanne Luce (she/her), Google Search Product Manager
What are you working on?
We’ve been expanding our business attributes in Search in the U.S. to be more inclusive of underrepresented groups, including the LGBTQ+ and Asian communities.
What excites you most about it?
Helping people find each other, and potentially find community, is one of the most wonderful functions of our Search products. When I was a kid, my family moved from New York City to a remote town far from the diversity of the Big Apple. As someone with Asian heritage, I started understanding what it was like to feel different and disconnected from others.
Businesses can now add the Asian-owned attribute to their Business Profiles, establishing their presence and helping them get seen and supported. Customers who want to intentionally support underrepresented communities can also use the Black-owned, Latino-owned, veteran-owned, women-owned and LGBTQ+-owned business attributes available in Search. I think about how meaningful it would have been for me, as a kid seeking connections, to have an actual map to help me find my community. It excites me that our products offer that.
In related news:
We’re also connecting people and building belonging into our products with Plus Codes. Available through our Maps products, APIs and the Address-Maker app, these map the homes of people without precise addresses — in densely populated or remote areas, for instance. Governments, NGOs and private companies in The Gambia, the U.S, India, Kenya and South Africa are using Plus Codes to improve access to everything from deliveries to emergency services. This year, Plus Codes have been added to more than 60 million points of interest in Google Maps, up from 20 million in 2021.