Google has work to do in search, advertising

For all the hoopla, attention, fame and money of the past year, Google is very aware of many areas in which it needs to improve.

Specifically, the Internet search giant is hard at work trying to create a more comprehensive index, expand its international presence, improve its search results relevance, deepen its advertising network and make services available via a variety of devices, the company's chief executive officer said Wednesday.

"Where are we in this mission to organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful?," Eric Schmidt asked during a meeting of Google executives with financial analysts. "All means all, and we don't have it all. That's comprehensiveness for us. Universally accessible means anyone can get to it regardless of language, disability and what have you. And useful means we have to get it right. And every time we don't get you the right answer, we're not doing our job well enough."

In the realm of comprehensiveness, Google is particularly focused on searching local information, such as local businesses, and complementary services, such as online maps, which is why the company acquired a multi-terabyte database of images and mapping information with its purchase of Keyhole, Schmidt said. "Ultimately information is about who you are, where you are, what you need and where you're going," he said.

Regarding its advertising network, Google isn't yet doing a good job of attracting either the largest or the tiniest companies, because it lacks the services and products to attract them, Schmidt said. And the company needs to continue to improve the way it links ads to user's queries, to make sure they are relevant to what the user is searching for, he said.

Meanwhile, the company is also pursuing its goal of providing users with exactly the information they are looking for, Schmidt said. "What we ultimately want to get to is the right answer. We're not there yet. We still show you lots of answers. We want to be able to give you exactly the right answer, in the right language at the right time."

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Juan Carlos Perez

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