I was able to sit in on the second of two keynote sessions we have here at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose. Here are some takeaways I picked up from the talk between Marissa Mayer of Google and Danny Sullivan who is co-chairing the conference.
Danny Sullivan is interviewing Marissa Mayer from Google in the second of two keynotes that are being conducted at this years Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. Interesting takeaways I got out of this conversation are as follows:
On Google Universal Search, Marissa says they had to change the entire infrastructure of how the servers worked. They still have a long way to go. They idea was to give users better and richer answers. New resources that are planned for the future may include blogs and scholars.
On whether they plan to make Universal Search “prettier” such a you have with Ask, Marissa says that they are working on function before aesthetics. They are experimenting with dynamic functions such as AJAX.
On Google Video turning into more of a meta-search, what additional sources may they include in the future? They want to be able to include “all” video content, therefore content creators are not necessarily limited to submitting videos to YouTube.
On personalized search, the user base has grown tremendously in the last few months. She states that it will continue to evolve and improve. Users can adjust what is actually being shown to them by removing items from their history such as in the case where a user clicks on something they didn’t mean to and then Google begins to display items that are not relevant to their preferences.
On privacy issues, Danny asked how do you reassure users that you are going to protect their information? She replies that they have users sign up for services and then agree to additional privacy policies. So users make a trade-off when signing up.
How does Google feel about Facebook? She sees a lot of parallels between the two in that they are both open platforms. She states that gadgets within Facebook and iGoogle are like a new form of advertising.
On how humans are involved with the search results, Marissa states that although many look at Google as the algorithm purist, they do layer human input into it. This way you get a good base of result by algorithm but at the same time have a human affect such as with user input as well as human involvement from Google themselves.
On Google Local and specifically, Street View, the idea of Street View if to help people identify physical locations they wish to visit (i.e. what color sign does the restaurant I’m looking for have, etc.).
To get more in depth coverage of everything that was said, check out Tamar Weinburg’s coverage at Search Engine Roundtable.