Google Roundup: Lobbying Intensifies; Verizon Signs On To AdWords; Mapping Ads

Once a Maverick, Google Joins the Lobbying Herd: Google’s lobbying efforts are intensifying as the company tries to find a way to balance employees’ Democrat leanings with legislative reality. Understatement of the day: Lauren Maddox, a principal in one lobbying firm with a Google account: “They are brilliant engineers. They are not politicians.” And there’s this choice comment from Esther Dyson: “It’s sad. The kids are growing up. They’ve lost youth and innocence. Now they have to start being grown-ups and playing at least to some extent by grown-up rules.”

Verizon joins Google AdWords: Verizon will match its users up with Google AdWords, acting to some extent as a ground-level sales force for the search company. Verizon’s classifieds powers MSN Local and MSN Virtual Earth so look for something similar once Microsoft AdCenter officially launches.

Google experiments with map ads: Google is trying out graphical ads on Google Local maps. Businesses can add logos and icons at no cost (for now).