What does that product look like going forward? How do you see it changing?
The interesting thing about advertising is that it's business-to-business - but it needs to move as fast as consumers move, because advertisers need to be where consumers are. So if all consumers are suddenly consuming all their media online, then advertisers need to move as fast as the users just moved.
That puts a lot of interesting pressure on us, and on the industry, to innovate as fast as consumers innovate. And advertising is a huge industry. So being able to try to move that all online, and make that really effective for publishers and advertisers, is a really big opportunity for everybody - for Google, for advertisers, and for publishers.
So looking forward, we're really focused on trying to think about how to solve that: how to continue to grow the ecosystem, and how to continue to enable online advertising to be more effective for advertisers. And we're looking at the brand opportunities as more and more users are moving online.
Although we've invested really heavily in this business for the last ten years, it's an area that we plan to continue to invest in equally heavily going forward. I think the next ten years will be as exciting as the last ten years were.
Has your sense of what "relevance" means, in the advertising context, changed at all over the past 10 years?
What we pioneered 10 years ago was contextual targeting: the idea that if you have an article about cooking, or making a craft, or travel, then we would serve an ad that's relevant to that. So if you have an article about cooking, you have, say, an ad for the ingredients that go in the recipe.
What's evolved since then is the recognition that there are some types of sites where the context isn't really relevant for advertisers. And probably the most significant area in that regard has been news. You read about what's happening in the Senate, or you read about a bill being passed, or you read about a controversy that's happening at the moment - and that's not necessarily a commercial type of content. It's very important, but it's not commercial.
So what we've really invested in has been audience targeting, and really trying to understand who the users are, and to understand what they want to see.
So if you have a person who is reading a lot of articles and headline news, what are the things that are relevant for them? It's trying to understand your user base a little bit better. The more you know about the users, the more you can serve something that's useful for them. So audience targeting, and serving ads to the right audience, is something that we've invested a lot in.
Do you see the Knowledge Graph, and Google's broader investment in semantic search, playing a role in its approach to ads?
The nice thing about the Knowledge Graph is that it gives you different answers [than what you would get from a standard search]. And it can understand different components in the search. Although it's probably early for us, in advertising, to think about, I think whenever you understand meaning better, you can serve better results. And since advertising is just another form of information, it means you can serve better advertising, too. But it's still early.