Helping publishers grow revenue remains a huge focus for us: Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google
While announcing Alphabet’s 2017 Q2 results on an earnings call, Google’s CEO highlighted the factors influencing its growth. He also spoke about focusing on publisher growth, helping small brands do business and more
Alphabet announced the Q2 results for the year 2017 earlier this week. On an earnings call held by Alphabet, Sundar Pichai spoke about the future of Google products and how they have fared over the quarter and YoY. While Pichai confirmed that YouTube, Cloud and hardware businesses are the most promising ‘bets’, he also added that there has been incredible momentum in some of the core products and machine learning. “We had a phenomenal quarter and Google continues to lead the shift to AI-driven computing. We are working towards making this incredible technology available to everyone around the world. It’s our focus on infusing our products and platforms with product learning and the AI that’s driving our success,” he said.
At Google IO, it was announced that Google Lens will be available later this year. Lenses is a vision-based computing capability that can understand what are you looking at and help you take action based on that information.
YouTube now has 1.5 billion monthly viewers. People are watching an average of 60 minutes of content a day on their phones and tablets. “That’s incredible and it helps thousands of passionate video creators make money,” said Pichai.
Television is now the fastest growing screen for YouTube as the watch-time on TV screens has nearly doubled YoY. This quarter, Google has unveiled six new ad supported originals from celebrities including Ellen Degeneres and Kevin Hart. Advertiser feedback on these new shows has been extremely positive, according to Pichai.
Google Cloud Platform
It is said that Google Cloud platform (GCP) has continued to grow impressively across products sectors and geographies and is increasingly being used by large enterprise customers in regulated sectors. “To be more specific about our momentum with big customers in Q2, the number of new deals to be closed are worth more than half a million dollars and it’s three times what it was last year,” said Pichai. Google continues to invest in new data centres around the world to provide the fastest and the most reliable services for its new customers and the existing ones.
Computing and Advertising platforms
Speaking about the two platforms, Pichai said, “Our computing and advertising platforms are driving great results for our partners. There are now more than two billion monthly active Android devices around the world. It’s really humbling to know that so many people use Android.”
At Google IO this year, Google gave developers an early access to Android O which plans to focus on vitals like battery life and performance. Google Play, on the other hand, continues to be a vital distribution platform for developers.
Eighty-two billion apps were downloaded from Google Play in the last year alone which is 11 apps for every person on the earth. “We continue to work on next generation computing platforms, virtual and augmented reality. By the end of this year, there will be 11 day dream ready devices on the market from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and Asus,” he added.
Elaborating on machine learning and its involvement at Google, Pichai said, “Machine learning is critical to helping advertisers and app developer analyse data in real time to reach consumers with more useful ads and measure campaign effectiveness.”
At Google marketing, this quarter, Google launched the ‘Google attribution’which is a comprehensive measurement tool that allows marketers to measure the impact of their campaigns across devices and channels, all in one place with no additional cost.
Google has also launched new ad formats and bidding features in Universal ad campaigns to help developers grow their user base on Google Play, Search, YouTube, Gmail and the display network. At Google IO, in 2016, it was announced that there were two billion app installations but today the number is more than five billion.
Speaking on online transactions, Pichai stated that around 90 per cent of transactions still happen offline. Google aims to help consumers find what they are looking for in brick-and-mortar stores. He added, “Our store visit technology is instrumental in understanding customer behaviour that starts online and ends in store. This quarter, we also brought local ads and store visits measurement to video.”
Google continues to witness success with their bumper ads which is the six second ad format. Pichai said that both brand and viewers love the format as it is the ideal length to capture attention. L’Oreal, Xbox, Clinique and Nutrogena have all seen great success with bumpers.
It’s said that ‘Google preferred’ continues to grow as hundreds of brands are now buying it. In the US, the numbers have nearly tripled since it launched three years ago.
Pichai said that Google is not just helping large brands but also millions of small businesses get online and grow. Every month, Google helps drive 100 million visitors to business websites and creates more than three billion direct connections between businesses and their customers. “These interactions drive huge economic opportunities in growth for small businesses. Small businesses can now build a website on their mobile phones in under 10 minutes using the listings on Google,” he added.
Speaking on publisher’s growth, he said that helping publishers grow their revenues remains a huge focus at Google. He said, “We are using the power of automation and machine learning to improve our auction algorithm for publishers. The 50 improvements we made since 2016 are generating 15 per cent more revenues for publishers using double click ad exchange.”
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“Many of these products that make people’s life easier are being powered by machine learning. One focus area for us this quarter has been enabling our machine learning algorithm to learn and make our products faster. Our ability to rapidly deploy the best machine learning in all of this quarter enabled us to launch all sorts of smart features to help moderate comments, suggest smart replies in Gmail and improve translations. We rolled out new machine learning features in Google maps, YouTube, Gmail and Google photos which now has more than 500 million monthly users who back up 1.2 billion photos and videos every day,” he said.
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