Google is doing so many things right now that it's hard to keep track of them all. At the same time, the company seems to be greatly focusing in several directions sometimes vaguely related. Yet, despite all this, the search engine is still very much the biggest and most looked after product, something that's not likely to change any time soon. The search engine itself has seen some very big announcements lately, from real-time search to an upcoming major redesign and they're all overseen and led by one woman, Marissa Mayer, Google's VP of Search and User Experience.
The Telegraph caught up with her before last week's Le Web conference in Paris and asked her to detail the company's overarching plan regarding the search engine. The biggest focus for Google at the time and for the short to medium term future is apparently language, the ability to search through and get results from any site in any language in the world.
"Imagine what it would be like if there was a tool built into the search engine which translated my search query into every language and then searched the entire world’s websites," she says. "And then invoked the translation software a second and third time – to not only then present the results in your native language, but then translated those sites in full when you clicked through.”
In a wider view, she says there are three areas of interest at Google search: modes, media and personalization. Modes are the way users do the actual search that is increasingly moving away from just text. The company has recently launched a couple of tools for mobiles, Voice Search and especially Google Goggles, which offer an interesting approach to search.
Media refers to the actual content Google indexes and the types of content it uses in its results and it's not strictly related to media, it covers things like Twitter and the real-time web. Finally, personalization covers Google's efforts to create a customized experience for every user to provide them with the most relevant results. This effort, while potentially very useful, is putting Google increasingly at odds with privacy advocates.
“Although we search the web right now, what we really want to do is search it as each individual user sees the web. We want Google to be the most accurate reference tool which allows people to search the web and each have an individual experience,” she states.