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Google CEO Discusses Criticism & Google’s Future



By Brittany Thompson

Dr. Eric Schmidt received a warm welcome at the Paley Center in Mountain View, CA, where the Google CEO made at appearance at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday. Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media, took some time to talk to Schmidt. A video of the interview has been posted on Google’s YouTube Channel.

“It’s Google’s world, and we’re all living in it.” This statement, which gained a few chuckles from the audience (and Schmidt himself), was overheard by Mitchell just before the interview while she was eating lunch at a local diner. Readers of this blog already know how eerily that statement mirrors the search industry.

Referring to Google’s history as “iconic,” Mitchell spent the next half hour probing Schmidt with questions regarding the highlights, controversies and bumps in the road that Google has faced throughout its reign at the top of the search industry.

Some highlights of the interview:

Mitchell put Schmidt on the spot, asking him for specific examples of times when he feels that Google “screwed up” and forcing him to defend his company. In the past week, Google has created some waves in a pool of critics, peaking with eBay pulling all of its AdWords advertising. And dare I mention the Viacom lawsuit? Let’s not even go there…

How does Google react to criticism and controversy? By being humble. As Schmidt stated, “This criticism is good. We learn from the criticism. We make mistakes, by the way. We’re not perfect. And if we make a mistake, hopefully we correct it very quickly or we have an internal debate and it makes our resolve on the issue even stronger.”

Is Google becoming too powerful? Not according to Schmidt. He maintains that the company is still as focused as ever on end user experience, pointing out that “if Google had not shown up, another company or another set of companies would be dealing with the same issues that all of us are grappling with now.”

What’s in store for Google? As we all know, Google is branching out in a number of different ways – and industries. Schmidt discussed how Google is testing new approaches for mass media. Referring to cell phones as a “viral network,” he also danced around the possibility that Google might be moving into the cell phone industry sooner than later. Reacting to recent legal battles, Google is trying to use video and audio fingerprinting, Schmidt says, to develop ways to prevent illegal content distribution and protect media property rights.

I don’t want to reveal all the information discussed during the interview. Instead, I’ll let you watch for yourself. Feel free to drop back here to share your thoughts!

About Brittany Thompson

Brittany Thompson is the founder of SEOForumWatch.com as well as a graphic and web designer. In addition to writing for Marketing Pilgrim, she’s been published by WebProNews and WebProWorld.