Larry Page, Google: We're a Million Miles Away from the Search Engine of Our Dreams

Google has come so far, but it still feels like it has a long way to go

By Gabriela Vatu on May 15th, 2014 12:30 GMT

Google’s brand new annual note to investors is here. Even though it may be dated in 2013, the file has just been released and reveals that the company’s leaders still think there’s a long way ahead of them before goals are achieved.

“Sergey and I started Google because we wanted ‘to develop services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible’ (Founders’ IPO Letter, 2004). We’ve stayed true to that mission, placing long-term bets on new technologies that users truly love—from Search to Gmail, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, and Android. We’ve covered a lot of ground in a short space of time and so people naturally ask, what is Google today, and where are you heading? It’s a good question,” notes the company’s Larry Page.

Well, the answer is that Google is primarily a search engine. Page says that there are over 100 billion searches pushed each month via Google, of which about 15 percent are for new terms and requests. Under these circumstances, Google adapts and updates its index within seconds, allowing it to provide quicker responses to any questions.

Page seems to be quite happy with the work the company has done with Voice Search, which now works in 38 languages.

“Yet, in many ways, we’re a million miles away from creating the search engine of my dreams, one that gets you just the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort. That’s partly because understanding information in a deep way is a hard problem to solve,” Page explains.

However, Google Now is starting to tackle this issue by providing information without even having to ask. The company plans to continue working to understand people’s context, which is crucial to improve interaction between users and computers.

Page also mentions how Chrome, which is used by over 750 million users, works across platforms and provides users with easy navigation and account synchronization.

He also mentions just how successful Android has become, with over one billion devices having been activated in the past six years. “It’s super exciting to see this ecosystem take off, with Android developers earning four times more on average in 2013 than they did the year before from user payments. We’re now taking Android to wearables, like watches, and to cars, where we can make it super easy to get directions, make a call or play music,” Page wrote.

The Google chief explains that sixteen years after starting Google, there is still much left to be done.
Larry Page talks about Google in latest investors' letter
   Larry Page talks about Google in latest investors' letter
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