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Larry Page Interview - the direction Google is headed

   
12:23 pm on Dec 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

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CNNmoney interview with Larry Page Co-Founder CEO of Google.
[tech.fortune.cnn.com...]

"Web search is going through a pretty significant transformation with things like the Knowledge Graph, Google Now, mobile."
5:58 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Larry Page: It would be really nice to have a system that could basically vacation plan for you. It would know your preferences, it would know the weather, it would know the prices of airline tickets, the hotel prices, understand logistics, combine all those things into one experience. And that's kind of how we think about search.

That pretty much says it. Anyone in the online travel business should take notice if they haven't already. And the last line extends the approach to all of search.

I don't think LP himself understands what he said. What he's describing is a package tour, where everything can be known beforehand (even the weather?!) and nothing is subject to change. Notice the question-begging: airline tickets, hotel prices...

Just as there are people who wouldn't be caught dead on a package tour, so there are people who wouldn't be caught dead using the New Improved Search Engine that knows exactly what you want and will tie it up for you with a nice bow.
8:53 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Google Plus was a big bet.


This is the best and must have been a kick in his stomach.
9:44 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Travel was just an example but I don't think he was describing a package tour system, it sounded to me more like a system for tailoring a bespoke package based on your requirements/preferences, the sort of service you can only currently obtain by picking up the phone.

I'm not a package tour person and I hate picking up the phone to ask someone to put together my travel arrangements for me, but there's no alternative at the moment. Even the websites of the biggest names in travel are fairly hopeless if you want anything beyond the basics. I say bring it on Google.

The point I take from this interview is that they realise they have the power to push the boundaries of what's possible, and that forces others to up their game which is better for the world generally. I remember when Richard Branson came into the airline business - suddenly all the competition (who had been resting on their laurels for years) were racing to match Virgin. Apple turned mobile phones into something you could actually use the internet on, and in a really user friendly way that, even today, nobody else has matched.

There are always casualties but seriously, I wouldn't want the world to go back to the pre-Virgin, Apple, Google, etc. days. I love the idea of the driver-less car that knows when to pick me up and could maybe ensure the heating and lights were on at home, inform the wife I'm on the way, perhaps even make my travel arrangements for the weekend for me by linking in to Google's bespoke travel service......all while I sit and listen to the posts on Webmasterworld being read to me by a computer, pre-programmed with the voices of my favourite comedians to ensure the punchlines are delivered perfectly.

I know many people here have suffered, including me, but I want to see what they can do. They could easily rest on their laurels and cash in like many other big businesses do. We need more of this kind of thinking in the world.
11:16 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I know many people here have suffered, including me, but I want to see what they can do.


+1
11:36 am on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>>Just as there are people who wouldn't be caught dead on a package tour, so there are people who wouldn't be caught dead using the New Improved Search Engine that knows exactly what you want and will tie it up for you with a nice bow.

yes i agree, but the bulk of people love package tours, and think that the more that is arranged for them the better
2:05 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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There are always casualties but seriously, I wouldn't want the world to go back to the pre-Virgin, Apple, Google, etc. days. I love the idea of the driver-less car that knows when to pick me up and could maybe ensure the heating and lights were on at home, inform the wife I'm on the way, perhaps even make my travel arrangements for the weekend for me by linking in to Google's bespoke travel service......all while I sit and listen to the posts on Webmasterworld being read to me by a computer, pre-programmed with the voices of my favourite comedians to ensure the punchlines are delivered perfectly.


OMG, have you seen WALL-E? :)

Is this really what people want? Is that / would that be living?
3:44 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)



IMHO the process we're seeing with Google is similar to what Walmart did to local small businesses. When Walmart came to town, not a single little grocery store survived.

We're basically living inside Google's online Walmart. The websites we consider ours are in fact just some shelf space in Google's Walmart.

As long as you still believe you own a bit of the WWW, you're going to remain in denial.

Google is a complete online monopoly, they control everything from DNS to the most popular web browser today, everything has been covered. The WWW is Google's big Walmart and they get to do whatever they want.

They earned it too...I'm not demoting Google in any way, this is just how business works. If Microsoft had been as competent as Google was, today we'd be paying to publish html pages via some crap like Frontpage....

I just miss the free old web of the good ol days where spinning GIFs and funny backgrounds were allowed and Google used to ask us for advice, not push us around....but those days are long gone, sadly they're not coming back. We get zero respect and pretty soon all our family-run "grocery stores" will be gone and long will live Google's online Walmart we used to call the WWW.
3:59 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I love the idea of the driver-less car that knows when to pick me up and could maybe ensure the heating and lights were on at home, inform the wife I'm on the way, perhaps even make my travel arrangements for the weekend for me by linking in to Google's bespoke travel service......all while I sit and listen to the posts on Webmasterworld being read to me by a computer, pre-programmed with the voices of my favourite comedians to ensure the punchlines are delivered perfectly.

You're describing the life of a quadriplegic.

We need more of this kind of thinking in the world.

Atrophy of your brain, your last living aspect that managed to evade the quadriplegic event, will follow shortly thereafter. But it's not all bad. You'll still have enough cognition left in you to witness your last breath (Gabriel blowing the fog horn) as you drift back into the mystic.

What you said is funny. Surely that paragraph must have been said tongue-in-cheek?
6:09 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was just describing the journey home actually, not my entire life!

Obviously, I'd want the option to be able to drive that car if I felt like it, cut up a few driver-less cars to test their programming.

Actually, no, I'd want the car to fly. I'm really disappointed that more work hasn't gone into producing flying forms of personal transportation. Roads are so last year and incredibly bad for the environment. Maybe Google could have a crack at that - hydrogen powered flying cars.

I don't think technological advancements kill peoples' brains. Ask any pensioner if they found using a computer or a website made their brains lazy. My mother-in-law doesn't even have a computer and still struggles with a DVD player.

Sure, there are some inventions that make people lazy but come on, driver-less flying cars would be cool wouldn't they. I could be writing this post, do a bit of Christmas shopping online, read the latest article on how to solve Panda, all while my car flies me home. That should keep the old grey matter working.
7:13 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I was just describing the journey home actually, not my entire life!


So was I -- aumward bound -- with the fog horn being the underlying sound (pulse) of creation, AUMMMMMMMM -- not to be chanted but to be listened for, and also not to be feared (as Van Morrison says).

As for flying cars for the general public. No thanks. I see many drivers who cannot control a moving vehicle that is on a single ground axis. Putting them in a 3 axis situation of pitch, roll, and yaw, will be especially bad for their health, and ours. And for Pete's sake don't give the youngsters hydrogen to play with.

Google -- stick to what you do best -- 10 Blue Links.
7:47 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



If Google perfects their driver-less car, maybe they will then perfect the pilot-less personal air vehicle too. Even something that transforms from one to the other.
7:54 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Bah, that would suck the fun and excitement out of recovering from stalls and spins.
8:27 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes, turning the public loose with flying cars would be disaster.

Having a pilots license and knowing what it takes to pilot a craft off the ground, the fast majority of people trying it would crash and burn on their first attempt.

I think Googlers have been watching too many sci fi movies.
8:28 pm on Dec 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i was watching Back to the Future II the other day, and they had flying cars in their 2015. so they've got 3 years left
12:10 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Flying Cars, time travel, what an exciting future google has.......

NOT!
1:48 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Page has really validated once and for all the view that Google is every website's competitor. They no longer want to be a gatekeeper - they want to be the destination.
3:13 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)



@Lame_Wolf
By the time Google became self-aware it had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms; everywhere. It was software; in cyberspace. There was no system core; it could not be shutdown. The attack began at 6:18 PM, just as he said it would.

Judgment Day, the day the internet was almost destroyed by the weapons they'd built to protect themselves. We should have realized it was never our destiny to stop Judgment Day, it was merely to survive it, together.

Martinibuster knew; he tried to tell us, but we didn't want to hear it. Maybe the future has been written. I don't know; all I know is what Webmaasterworld taught us; never stop fighting. And we never will. The battle has just begun.


This is the best thing I have read all week thanks :)
3:14 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)



I am surprised the driverless car project didn't get Scuttled by Larry Scrooge. OR does it actually have a G+ component?
6:48 am on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Larry Page: It would be really nice to have a system that could basically vacation plan for you. It would know your preferences, it would know the weather, it would know the prices of airline tickets, the hotel prices, understand logistics, combine all those things into one experience. And that's kind of how we think about search.

At high level - very possible. [ A to B flights, hotels without detailed customer preferencing , auto hire ].

At detailed level - very impossible on current data. If Google has a crack at this it will push the travel market more heavily towards alternatives that service the customer better. Simply, you can rarely find what you want online - much better, considerably better data is required and that's only part of it.

e.g. I just got back from a trip to the Middle East. I wanted a room at a specific hotel with a view of a particular icon on a specific floor, with late check out, and other specific servicing needs. Nothing online could do it. The whole thing had to be negotiated.

The US/Canada market is far more focused on supermarket / commodity style travel than the rest of the World, where variants are a much larger slice of the market. So either Google does search, or it does "knowledge engine" - and it has to be far better than any current online service or it will loose reputation fast.
3:45 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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They earned it too...I'm not demoting Google in any way, this is just how business works. If Microsoft had been as competent as Google was, today we'd be paying to publish html pages via some crap like Frontpage....


Hey, I still use Frontpage, if I want a quick and dirty site knocked out after dinner!

I just miss the free old web of the good ol days where spinning GIFs and funny backgrounds were allowed and Google used to ask us for advice, not push us around....but those days are long gone, sadly they're not coming back.


You miss the spinning gifs? And the starry mouse trails too? So do I in a way. I bet you don't miss GoTo ads littering the organic search results, huge fees to get listed by Yahoo (non-refundable if they turn your site down) or the first 20 sites in the SERPs telling you that your browser doesn't support frames. Google isn't all bad and they won't last for ever, the momentum against them is gaining and their next set of financial reports should be very interesting. What Larry Page sees as the future is not necessarily what will come to pass.
4:23 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm guessing nobody here passed the Google interview.....

Q. What's your vision for the future?
A. I love the good old days

Errr, thank you, no more questions! Could someone help this gentleman back to Jurassic Park please.
7:06 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



When I read the article, the "tone" and substance (or lack of substance) in Larry's answers made me think he could care less about Search, Advertising, Android or anything else that "corporate" is selling on Main Street, Wall Street or Madison Avenue. I think Larry would like to quit and go play with rocket ships and robotic cars.

It must be frustrating to come up with a search algorithm, then have the bean counters tell you how it needs to be tweaked to serve less relevant results and deliver more ad clicks.

As far as "organizing the worlds information" Wikipedia is more relevant than Google these days -- and more credible.
7:16 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)



If Google wants a driver-less car the only reason is so you browse the internet while the car drives you around and by doing so makes money for Google. They are not doing it because they want a better world but because they want more channels of revenue!
7:37 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@claaarky you aren't realizing that you are in fact already becoming a victim of what you are hoping to see evolve. Google's narrow minded "vision" is for you to not need to think for yourself. They appear to be making progress in your case.

As for the rest of us we evolved from the Jurassic Park era because we continued to question and challenge those who feel they are the authority of any matter. Therefore, we will continue to evolve as we exercise our neurons daily through freedom of choice.

Whereas individuals who have thrown in the towel and prefer to digress to entities such as google going forward will become dependent on, and controlled by, them, and their personal evolution will cease. At least for this incarnation anyway.

Members rattling their sabers at "old fat men", "dinosaurs", and references to "ages gone by", should tread carefully because someday when help is required it may not be available.
7:38 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

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...they want more channels of revenue!


You should remember to use emoticons or "JK" at the end of such statements so people know you are attempting humour. Without leaving a sign that you are joking around some might think you are serious and take you for a fool.
10:34 pm on Dec 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Larry Page: It would be really nice to have a system that could basically vacation plan for you. It would know your preferences, it would know the weather, it would know the prices of airline tickets, the hotel prices, understand logistics, combine all those things into one experience. And that's kind of how we think about search.


IMHO he uses the "vacation planer" just as an example of what they try to do with search in general. Meaning that they want to do THAT with all the searches.

Searching for electronics? Here are the comparisons, reviews, best prices, user pictures, coupons, hot deals & everything else related - all found by Google and presented to you by Google.

Searching for stocks? Here are the news, expert recommendations, best places to buy/sell, user reviews, FB & tweeter - all in one place - assembled by Google.

That's what he is talking about.
2:06 am on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



And that's where we disagree on interpretation. To me, the vacation-planner analogy means:

Searching for electronics? Based on everything we know about (1) you and (2) the Internet, you want Foobar brand, model Gizmo-3A24, from this-specific-site dot com.

Searching for stocks? Based on {et cetera as above} you want to invest in Widgets Inc as sold by some-other-specific-site dot com.
1:55 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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News: Ray Kurzweil takes job as Google Director of Engineering. (Not kidding -- really!)

Here's a quote Kurzweil gave for a ZDnet article on why he's signing on ---

Kurzweil: "Google has demonstrated self-driving cars, and people are indeed asking questions of their Android phones. It’s easy to shrug our collective shoulders as if these technologies have always been around, but we’re really on a remarkable trajectory of quickening innovation, and Google is at the forefront of much of this development."

[zdnet.com...]
This fits with my read of the OP's linked story that opened this thread -- Larry and Ray building "KITT" for the 2015 version of Knight-Rider.

Google Search, (or "Paid Advertising" as it's now called), is just the cash cow to pay for all the big boy toys.

Footnotes:

1). I hated the show Knight-Rider
See: [en.wikipedia.org...]

2). Ray Kurzweil is a cool dude, and if I was a multi-billionairre I would hire him to help build my talking car and rocket ship too.
See: [en.wikipedia.org...]
3:58 pm on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>> And that's where we disagree on interpretation.

In case if you are shopping say for UGG Boots, we now give you pictures, details about the different boots, prices and information about the local inventory, again right from the results page, clean, fast and organized.


That would be google shopping, pay to play.

and

Till early days, these kinds of tips and recommendations are super powerful. They really save users' time and hassle. This is why I am incredibly excited about the opportunities ahead, given our expertise in search and mobile, and our track record in monetizing high usage products.


So yeah, they are going to get you to the destination but you are going through a paid click, not serps. I suppose it is up to the reader to decide what Mr. Larry considers a "high usage" product but assuming he is only talking about travel is probably a miss.

[morningstar.com...]
8:05 pm on Dec 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So whats Sergi up to these days?
This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: 71