Image courtesy Google

Image courtesy Google

Bellevue now can add “eCity” to its list of nicknames. The Eastside city today was named by Google as Washington’s eCity.

This is the second year Google has reviewed the nation’s cities in search of the strongest online business communities. Bainbridge Island won the state’s honor in 2013.

“Cities have been scored on whether businesses have a website, whether they use a blog, if they have a social media presence, whether you can buy directly from their webpage,” says Google spokesperson Darcy Nothnagle. “Another factor in there is whether or not businesses have a mobile-friendly website, because people are accessing local businesses from their phone nowadays.”

Google also recognized Bellevue for its provision of wireless network in downtown parks and retail areas.

“We’re gratified that our efforts to leverage technology to deliver better service to residents and businesses are getting noticed,” says Bellevue Chief Information Officer Toni Cramer. “The city’s economic development strategy supports increasing convenience for the tech-savvy population we serve through solutions such as paperless permitting, a regional park search portal and the MyBellevue mobile app.  Our residents and businesses want this type of service from their city, and we’re happy to deliver it.”

Nothnagle says Google focuses on businesses’ online presence when selecting eCities, but that the city provides the public easy access to the web “probably makes a difference for consumers.”

Google said businesses that use the Internet are expected to grow 40 percent faster than those without an online presence. Small businesses create two-thirds of all new jobs, and Google said the potential impact of getting these businesses online is enormous.

“Part of this award is educating people about the value and benefit of engaging in the digital economy and Bellevue is obviously an example of that,” Nothnagle says. “With 97 percent of Internet-users looking for products and services online, it’s clear that success is about being connected.”

Google worked with IPSOS, an independent research firm, to analyze the data. For more information on methodology, visit IPSOS online.