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'Gone Google' campaign going global

Company touts marketing program that uses stories from businesses extolling its online services and announces plans to expand campaign to other countries.

Google claims more than 2 million businesses and 20 million people have switched to Google Apps, a movement the company is touting through its expanding "Gone Google" marketing program.

Google's official blog on Monday put in a plug for the ongoing flow of companies that have adopted its services, including not just Google Apps, but also the Postini spam filtering and Google's Enterprise Search Appliance.

In August, Google asked customers to tweet the benefits of using its online apps and services, and now the company has gathered together those tweets in its GoogleAtWork Twitter page.

Through its "Gone Google" marketing campaign, the company has been able to relate the stories of corporate customers who have switched to Google Apps and "no longer have to deal with the hassles of managing e-mail servers or rolling out software updates."

The "Gone Google" campaign has also included billboard advertising in high-traffic spots like airports and train stations. Pleased with the results, Google said it's expanding the campaign to other countries, including the U.K., France, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Singapore.

With a portfolio that includes Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar, Google Apps has been adopted by more large businesses in need of software that costs less and is easier to maintain. Converts to Google Apps include Motorola with 20,000 users, Genentech with 16,300 users, and Valeo with 30,000 users.

Google has also been more creative in nudging businesses toward its services. As one example, the company's Apps Sync for Outlook plug-in lets users keep Outlook but move away from Microsoft Exchange.

Even Google's response toward advertising has been evolving. In the past, the company has typically avoided promoting its own services, relying more on word of mouth to grow its search and ad businesses. But it's recently become less shy about tapping into the ad market, using TV, billboards, and other unique arenas to tout Google Apps and its Chrome browser.