Search giant Google GOOG has started hearing footsteps as Twitter and Facebook are becoming bigger and bigger presences in search. But Google’s president of global search operations, Nikesh Arora isn’t worried.
“Look, I think it’s a good thing if people are searching on multiple places for information,” he said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech Conference. “We have to up our game. You have to be paranoid, right?”
Google may be paranoid about keeping customers interested, but it won’t be because search space will get too crowded.
“I think that the size is going to explode. I think we’re underestimating the potential of video advertising shifting to the web.”
Video advertising on the web is backwards, according to Arora. Now, people are cutting ads designed for TV and pushing them in front of content. Google should be primed to jump on this, having bought YouTube, which seems to finally be pushing profitable, although Arora wouldn’t offer any numbers. He echoed Google’s earlier statements that YouTube’s seemingly slow road to profitablity is actually on a perfectly fine timescale.
“We are so used to instant success,” he says, that people have been saying YouTube should be worth at least 3 billion dollars of revenue, but at Google, “we’re very happy with the trajectory.”
Google’s huge reach has gotten the company in trouble with regulators, most recently in Germany, where the company was caught scarfing down data from wi-fi vans. Arora says regulators are going to have to allow the company enough room to innovate while still doing their jobs, which isn’t shocking. He seems confident that Google’s in-crowd appeal would ease negotiations with governments and other regulators.
“Is it more fun regulating a mining company or an internet company? I’ll tell you what, it’s more fun hanging out with the internet guys, because they’re cool.”