In what served as the equivalent of a presidential state of the union address, Google CEO Larry Page has laid out a plan for Google's future as he enters his second year leading the company.
The Google co-founder said in his 2012 Update from the CEO report 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.
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.
"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."
"Next generation search" was a big piece of Page's address. He 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, but noted "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."
The launch of Google+ and the convergence of Google's platforms has been a common theme in Page's first year on the job. He has already overseen efforts to modernize a number of Google services and add connections to the company's social network.
Further down the road, Page 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."
Earlier this week, Page also spoke with Bloomberg. He was asked about how Google was once considered just a search company, so what is Google today? Page's reply:
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.
Steven Levy at Wired, author of "In the Plex," also offers an interesting analysis of Page's first year as CEO.