Google CEO Larry Page in his 2012 Update from the CEO report says that the search giant had made progress revamping Google around key business opportunities and that the company would be looking to simplify the Google search platform while integrating the platform with Google's other services, including the Google+ social network.
"So, since becoming CEO again, I've pushed hard to increase our velocity, improve our execution, and focus on the big bets that will make a difference in the world. Google is a large company now, but we will achieve more, and do it faster, if we approach life with the passion and soul of a start-up," said Page.
Page explained that the aim of the company was to tie its platforms together, allowing users to move between services and perform tasks across multiple brands without having to move from site to site. "Last April, I began by reorganizing the management team around our core products to improve responsibility and accountability across Google," Page said. Adding, "I also kicked off a big clean-up. So we've closed or combined over 30 products, including projects like Knol and Sidewiki. In addition, we gave many of our products, such as Google Search, a visual refresh, and they now have a cleaner, more consistent, and beautiful look," he said.
"That means making our products work together seamlessly," Page said. "People should not have to navigate Google to get stuff done. It should just happen."
In the "Next generation search" section, Page noted that the introduction of Google+ and Search Plus Your World has helped Google improve search by making less "generic" search results through understanding identities, relationships and interests. Page noted "This is a huge and important change, but there's a ton more work to do."
"But this kind of next-generation search in which Google understands real-world entities -- things, not strings -- will help improve our results in exciting new ways. It's about building genuine knowledge into our search engine," wrote Page. "It's all about speeding things up so users can get on with the things that matter in their lives."
Page also noted about the wheather into the search box, which provides the current wheather information on search results. And, that the company is experimenting with a feature called "Hotel Finder," which enables you to compare prices and book a hotel room right from the results page. "It's all about speeding things up so users can get on with the things that matter in their lives," he said.
Addressing Android, "and you can now turn your phone into a wallet using... Google Wallet." He said, "I remember first meeting Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, back in 2004. At the time, developing apps for mobile devices was incredibly painful. We had a closet full of over 100 phones." Fast forward to today, Android is on fire, "Over 850,000 devices are activated daily through a network of 55 manufacturers and more than 300 carriers," he said.
Page also shared, that;
- Chrome has over 200 million users and is growing fast, thanks to its speed, simplicity, and security.
- Gmail since 2004, now has more than 350 million people. And over 5,000 new businesses and educational establishments now sign up every day.
- YouTube has over 800 million monthly users uploading over an hour of video per second.
- Mobile advertising grew to a run rate of over $2.5 billion by the Q3 of 2011--two and a half times more than at the same point in 2010
- Over one million businesses now use Google's advertising products
- Google has paid out over $30 billion in AdSense revenue to support content on the Web since its launch over a decade ago
- Google+ has scored more than 100 million active users.
He signaled Google's intentions to make hardware devices when its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings closes later this year, even as some observers have speculated that Google was only interested in the company for its extensive patent portfolio.
"We are excited about the opportunities to build great devices capitalizing on the tremendous success and growth of Android and Motorola's long history of technological innovation," Page wrote.
Page further said that the company would be working to monetize media services such as YouTube. Google's CEO said that the company would see revenues from YouTube much in the same way it draws money from Google search, relying on advertising returns from high levels of traffic.
"We understand the need to balance our short- and longer-term needs because our revenue is the engine that funds all our innovation," Page explained. "But over time, our emerging high-usage products will likely generate significant new revenue streams for Google as well as for our partners, just as search does today."
Page also does a Q&A with Bloomberg's Brad Stone -- where, he replied to question whe asked about how Google was once considered just a search company, so what is Google today?
"I think you have--I mean, what does it really mean to be a search company? I mean, even at that time, I think at that time and now, basically our soul is the same. I think what we're about is we're about using large-scale kind of technology: technology advancements to help people, to make people's lives better, to make community better. Obviously, our mission was organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful, and I think we probably missed more of the people part of that than we should have," Page replied.
Page also discussed of Steve Jobs' rage against Google for "stealing" the look and feel of Android:
"I think the Android differences were actually for show . . . I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it's useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it's better to shoot higher. You don't want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what's possible and how to make the world better."
Page also seems equally fixated on Facebook. Though he says, "You don't want to be looking at your competitors." "I mean, our friends at Facebook have imported many, many, many Gmail addresses and exported zero addresses. And they claim that users don't own that data, which is a totally specious claim. It's completely unreasonable," Page said.
Steven Levy at Wired, author of "In the Plex," also offers an interesting analysis of Page's first year as CEO:
Google was once widely viewed as a feisty startup, an underdog that was on the side of the people; now people increasingly see it as a mighty and distant power that knows too much about them.
This shift in perception is dangerous to Google. It provides cover to politicians and regulators (many of whom are being lobbied furiously by Google's competitors) who want to hobble a company that seems to have a troubling amount of power. The constant scrutiny of the DOJ and the FTC have already hurt Google considerably: when considering acquisitions, there's not only the possibility that government will block the move -- there's the certainty that the long approval process will lower the value of the purchase.
Also, responding to rumors reported on WebProWorld that Google is using Automattic's Akismet comment spam data to send webmasters the unnatural link notification warnings -- a Google spokesperson said "We don't use Akismet to flag spam."