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Interview with Marissa Mayer - including general topics, future of search



6:10 pm on Apr 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On 04/23/08, Googleís Marissa Mayer gave a radio interview on NPR (actually KQED, an NPR station in the San Francisco bay area). Interview is not tech/geek heavy, as there are some general questions about company and M.M. herself, - so no earthshaking announcements.

There are interesting bits and potential insights what Google is doing and where itís going. I believe following link , from KQED, should have audio podcast available shortly:

M.Mís answer to question where search is going in the future:


Interview also has brief answers on Android, Google Health, as well as no intention to build "Google O.S."

What to expect from Google in the future:
Public Google health
More innovation in search (personalization, etc.)

She canít comment on inside of the "Google plane", except to say that itís comfortable :)

[edited by: tedster at 11:17 pm (utc) on April 23, 2008]

Robert Charlton

6:37 pm on Apr 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Just listened to this myself, and, while it was for the general listener, there was more focus on search than I'd expected. I thought it was a suprisingly good interview.

One point that MM made in several different ways was Google's interest in "context rather than keywords."

Also, regard Books and also Google Scholar, there was a listener question re whether Google might offer a subscription model to permit full access to this material, and MM suggested that "Google would like nothing better" (this is something I've thought for years).

The program itself was on a KQED-produced program called "Forum," and the Forum archives are where eventually one should look for the link. Unfortunately, the KQED website has a terrible practice of not immediately providing a permanent location for its podcast links... so the initial url may change at the end of the week.


11:15 pm on Apr 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

audio link is up on KQED's link - also direct to mp3 is

..and in my post it should be Marissa not Melissa (I think spellchecker had a hand in typo....)

< admin note - I corrected her name in the post and the title >

[edited by: tedster at 11:21 pm (utc) on April 23, 2008]

Robert Charlton

7:06 am on Apr 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

KQED-FM repeated the broadcast tonight, so I chanced to hear the second half of it again as I was driving home from a meeting.

In light of current discussions we've been having here about the Google search algo, something Marissa said about the Google news algo jumped out at me.

She was answering a question about Google News results. Currently, the news algo selects the most popular stories, categorizes them, and clusters them. When the interviewer asked whether this might not skew results to feature what's already well covered at the expense of lesser-known stories, she said something to the effect of...

They've "looked into ways of introducing serendipity into the algorithm" to bring less discovered stories to wider attention.

The quoted parts, which I've also emphasized, are pretty much exact wording. If this is something that Google is working on for the news algo, might they not also be working on it for the search algo?

audio link...

Here's the permalink for the KQED-FM Archive landing page with a selection of audio feeds...

Google's Marissa Mayer
Wed, Apr 23, 2008 -- 10:00 AM


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