Last year Marissa Mayer made her debut in Europe at LeWeb 2008. This year she returns in the same format as last year. She sat down to talk to Michael Arrington to talk about the latest developments at Google.
The talk was simple and easy and addressed most products launched over the last weeks. Actual "hard" questions weren't asked unfortunately, most probably because that was agreed on beforehand. Issues like privacy and data weren't addressed or were passed by real quick. Still it was interesting to listen to Mayer.
Some elements from the talk (which you can see below):
Mayer says Google thinks in components. That means other components than text will become important. You will be able to talk to search engines through phone or take a picture to get information. Other components Marissa sees is personalization and location. Goggles will play a big part in this. As image recognition gets further along you could be recognizing people at a specific location.
Searchwiki Arrington takes us back to last year. Talks about searchwiki. He ssks if we can get rid of it entirely. Mayer says they are looking at changing the model of Searchwiki, but they won't take it away.
Mobile When talking about mobile she doesn't want to comment on speculations about a Google phone, but she did point out that there are no actual numbers, but mobile searches take up about 5% of all searches of Google. A number which seems quite high.
Newspapers and the future of news: getting personal Mayer believes Google should be increasing engagement with newsreaders. This will depend on 1) how much you can personalize 2) get a notion of what to do next.
They want to fix the issue with newspapers by looking at other models: living story is a good example for that. Print paper on a webpage, update it and re-publish it.
According to Mayer we will get a personal stream of news which is personal: brands, social circle, sites etcetera. All that together could be compelling.
Arrington asked if Google would ever pay for content? Mayer went around the question with her answer:
"Difficult to say. We want to make it easy for people to monetize content."
Music search Mayer told us that lyric search is special.Lyrics was number two search term of all time. It was therefore a logical step to built music search, which for now is only available in the US.
Realtime search Off course real time search was discussed. Mayer said public updates are already really useful. It's however all about thrust: people are more trustworthy. If someone on a mountain says there is snow you can trust him more then a snow-update site. Index and search the web the way you want to see it, crawl the web as you see it is Google's challenge.
Authority in real time could be problem: can Google solve that? Mayer says its hard to say. It was a lot of fun looking at real time data. In real time there is no Pagerank or linkstructure. Google will built up their results based on 12 signals. Publishing fluctuation for example. You can see @tweets, retweets, replies and topics and with that figure out the authority.
She also talked about Chrome and Chrome OS. She claims there are now tens of millions of Chrome users. Finally she addressed Wave which she says is useful when you have critical mass.
Below you can find the video of the talk. We tried to talk to her afterwards but didn't really succeed, though there is some footage we made after her talk which we will maybe publish later, if the quality holds up.