Google eTowns Canada Methodology 2014

A description of the methodology behind selecting the 2014 winner of Google eTowns in Canada.

STAGE 1 – eTowns Shortlist

To develop the eTowns shortlist, Ipsos assembled a list of all Canadian towns, broken down by population size. Google then added the AdWords data for each town to calculate the top five towns in each of the regions with the highest AdWords penetration relative to population size.

  1. A list of all valid zip code areas and town names was created for each region with population data for each zip code area and town.
  2. Google created an AdWords penetration figure for each region, by dividing the total population of each town by the number of AdWords customers in that region.
  3. If a town appeared in duplicate regions, the population and AdWords was aggregated and the town assigned to the region where its population was the largest.
  4. Ipsos was then asked to conduct desk research in each of the top five AdWords penetration towns in each of the 5 regions.

STAGE 2 – Business Scoring

Ipsos identified a random sample of 51 small and medium businesses (employing between 1 and 50 people) in each of the top 5 AdWords penetration towns from each region. The 51 businesses were divided according to company size:

  • Self-employed (1 employee) (n=17)
  • 2 to 10 employees (n=17)
  • 11 to 50 employees (n=17)

The profile of small businesses in each town was quota'd according to employee band to ensure an even distribution of each. Each of the randomly selected businesses were then marked according to the following criteria:

1. Directories: Was it listed in an online directory (such as Yellowpages,, Yelp,, canpages)? (YES / NO)

2. Website: Did it have its own website? (YES / NO)

How did the website (if it has one) score?

  • PageRank (can be checked via
  • Does the company have a verified Google+ business page and is their website linked to this page?
  • Does the website allow eCommerce directly within the site? (YES / NO)
  • Does the website allow for online reservations/appointment bookings online? (YES/NO)
  • Does the website include an option to sign up for a mailing list?
  • Does the website include link(s) to social network(s)?
  • Does the website show a map of their location(s)?
  • Does the website integrate customer reviews onto site?
  • Does this company offer an online service or help? (example: service through online chat)

3. Mobile: Does the company have a mobile friendly site? mobile optimized site?

  • Does the website allow mCommerce?
  • Does the company have an app?

4. Social: Does the company have a social network presence?

    a. Blog (YES / NO) b. Facebook (YES / NO) c. Twitter (YES / NO) d. G+ (YES / NO) e. YouTube (YES / NO)
  • Is the company active on social media?
    a. Blog (YES post at least once per week / NO posts less than once per week) b. Facebook (YES at least 3 posts per week / NO 2 posts or less per week) c. Twitter (YES at least 3 posts per week / NO 2 posts or less per week) d. G+ (YES at least 3 posts per week / NO 2 posts or less per week) e. YouTube (YES at least 3 posts per week / NO 2 posts or less per week)

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