SMX Live: Keynote with Susan Wojcicki, SVP Advertising, Google, Inc.

Feb 29, 2012 - 11:52 am 1 by
Filed Under SMX West 2012

Live Blogging Coverage SMXBelow is live coverage of the Keynote with Susan Wojcicki, SVP Advertising, Google, Inc. panel from the SMX West conference. This coverage is provided by Barry Schwartz of RustyBrick.

Disclaimer: The coverage is brought to you in real time, using a custom live blogging tool. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments for inclusion into the live coverage. During the live event, live notes will auto-scroll with newest entries at top. After the session is complete the archive version will have the oldest entries at the top. We ask you to please excuse any typos, as these are live notes.

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Barry Schwartz: 8:54:39 am
Starting soon... about 5 minutes
Barry Schwartz: 8:57:02 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:57:07 am
They are doing last minute prepping
Barry Schwartz: 8:57:32 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:58:04 am
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Barry Schwartz: 8:59:12 am
Greg Sterling it attempting to unlive blog at as I show him how real live blogging works
Barry Schwartz: 8:59:30 am
They take their seats
Barry Schwartz: 9:00:22 am
Susan on Google+
Barry Schwartz: 9:00:52 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:02:23 am
Chris Sherman introduces her
Barry Schwartz: 9:02:47 am
Forbes ranked her the #16th most influential people
Barry Schwartz: 9:03:15 am
Google's founders started in her Garage
Barry Schwartz: 9:04:04 am
Chris is now showing off the influential garages from HP, to Amazon to Walk Disney...
Barry Schwartz: 9:04:55 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:05:15 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:05:28 am
How did you get these guys working in your garage and did you have any sense what it would become?
Barry Schwartz: 9:05:44 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:05:47 am
The homes in this area are very expensive
Barry Schwartz: 9:06:12 am
She just got her MBA, bought a house but had to rent the garage to pay the mortgage
Barry Schwartz: 9:06:26 am
At the time, she had no idea what the company would become
Barry Schwartz: 9:06:49 am
At the time, there were many search engines but when she started using the product, she knew it was special.
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:21 am
She had her ah-ha moment when the stanford servers went offline and Google stopped working and she couldn't get her work done.
Barry Schwartz: 9:07:41 am
She worked at Intel while they were in her garage but when they moved out, she joined them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:01 am
They were not allowed through the front door then but now they are.
Barry Schwartz: 9:08:12 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:08:30 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:08:58 am
In 2003/2004 you launched AdSense and lots have changed since then, how has things changed since then?
Barry Schwartz: 9:09:45 am
AdSense was a simple product in 2003, it had contextual targeting and you can opt in or out of it. Now it is a lot more complex, with audience controls, site opt out, target sites, etc etc etc
Barry Schwartz: 9:10:11 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:10:39 am
It has evolved that it is not just a network but now you can buy on exchanges and then 3rd party exchanges. I had no idea how complex it would get.
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:01 am
Chris: How are you working with privacy controls and the flake in the media and govt
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:49 am
Susan: We did not have a cookie on AdSense network until they acquired DoubleClick in 2008
Barry Schwartz: 9:12:58 am
But they did this in a very transparent way
Barry Schwartz: 9:13:08 am
With controls to turn on or off
Barry Schwartz: 9:13:22 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:13:58 am
Of the people who use these controls, the same number of people who opt out, people actually add more preferences to their control panel.
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:17 am
Barry Schwartz: 9:14:31 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:14:52 am
As people come on to this page, they see what they see, they can opt out and add things and they see users say no, we are comfortable with it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:16:10 am
Chris: How do you balance the perceptions of what the outside world thinks you are doing something bad for the users and so on...
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:04 am
Susan: We are a leader in the space and we are doing that. As you introduce any new technology, there are going to be questions and concerns. So we try to notify as much as they can, and be clear about those changes. Susan said she got at least 20 notifications.
Barry Schwartz: 9:17:42 am
At the end of the day, there is change, this is new and people have to digest it.
Barry Schwartz: 9:18:35 am
Danny: I look at this and it seems like you can't win. Like when you said you would reduce the data retention to 18 months. People said why so long... So seems like you can't win.
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:11 am
Danny: Why is this concern not happening with other companies. What is your take on this?
Barry Schwartz: 9:19:28 am
Susan: It is hard to comment on why a regulator would focus on us vs other providers.
Barry Schwartz: 9:20:12 am
Susan: When we talk about the privacy policy and the changes we have, people do not understand that the only thing we are changing is the policy privacy. Nothing is changing tomorrow. As we make changes, we will notify people.
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:17 am
Susan : For example, when you get an invite for a party, maps will show up in the email through Google Maps. This is good for the user. The more we understand users, the better we can serve them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:21:46 am
Chris: You've been very influential in building. What is your take on acquisitions vs building things. What is the balance...
Barry Schwartz: 9:22:07 am
Susan: I've been involved in a number, the largest were YouTube and Double Click... Also Admob, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:27 am
Susan: Google is a technology company, we like to build things. We buy vs build, when we think we can't get something they have already. YouTube had users. AdMob brought them a team of mobile ad specialists with a user base already.
Barry Schwartz: 9:23:41 am
Susan:So far, those acquisitions have been good, I think≥
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:06 am
Susan: there is also a lot of people dynamics going into this as well...
Barry Schwartz: 9:24:37 am
Danny: Google+ integration, lets talk about the Safari issue. Should you have gone around Safari's security thing to make Google+ buttons work? Was that Googley...
Barry Schwartz: 9:25:39 am
Susan: As soon as we became aware of it, the company went into alert and fixed it asap. I think that is one thing, we try to acknowledge mistakes and fix them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:26:05 am
Susan: We do ask Google+ users to opt into it. So also if they opt out on Safari but opt in on Google+, how does that work?
Barry Schwartz: 9:26:50 am
Chris: We had a session yesterday on Retargeting (Remarketing) There is a creep factor of "you are following me around" - how do you manage that, creepy vs qualified ads.
Barry Schwartz: 9:27:11 am
Susan: I was remarketed for this conference, you guys used it for this conference.
Barry Schwartz: 9:27:28 am
(yes, her face was all over SMX ads on all these blogs with AdSense everywhere)
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:04 am
Susan: Everything is a balance at the end of the day. USers want useful and relevant things. We need to make sure users are comfortable with it, through transparency and options.
Barry Schwartz: 9:28:31 am
Danny: Obama Privacy and Do Not Track thing... Can you talk about that?
Barry Schwartz: 9:29:48 am
Susan: I was there last week for that. It is an industry initiative... It gave consistent notifications and controls to users about what is going on and Chrome will adopt it. Users will have the ability to opt out. There is still certain info we need to retain for spam and fraud, stuff for the internet to continue to work.
Barry Schwartz: 9:30:35 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:31:15 am
Chris: Google is moving into social in a big way - Google+. That has implications for both users but also advertisers. How are advertising reacting to it?
Barry Schwartz: 9:31:29 am
Susan: The first step is for marketers should have Google+ pages.
Barry Schwartz: 9:32:48 am
Susan: So how do we make those more relevant and they have been integrating them into SERPs. But marketers have to keep them fresh. But some marketers have been using it in interesting way, such as hangouts for support. We also enabled ads to be +1ed, friends show up, etc. The idea is ads work just like content.
Barry Schwartz: 9:34:01 am
Danny: What does it mean for Google to have a social network? What do you hope to get from Google+?
Barry Schwartz: 9:35:09 am
Susan: The company's view on this, is this is the next generation of Google products. We know, our users are logged in and they are telling us stuff. Because of this, we can customize the results more from them. Yes, Google+ is a social network, but it also gives us an opportunity to know more about the users and give them content more relevant to them.
Barry Schwartz: 9:35:34 am
(so it seems like Susan is saying Google+ is important to Google because it helps with search)
Barry Schwartz: 9:36:04 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:36:21 am
Susan: because it is early, people don't understand that but that is the future.
Barry Schwartz: 9:36:53 am
Chris: Where you going with mobile and where is the future?
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:05 am
Susan: Mobile has been such a huge, interesting and important change.
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:33 am
Susan: Sometimes when something this big happens, we don't notice, because we can't live without it. Can you imagine living with out your mobile phone?
Barry Schwartz: 9:37:47 am
Susan: A lot of web sites do not have mobile landing pages.
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:05 am
Susan: Once we have mobile landing pages, how do we incorporate mobile signals like location, touch, etc.
Barry Schwartz: 9:38:43 am
Mobile is here...
Barry Schwartz: 9:40:19 am
Susan: Click to call has been going well. "It's been good." Marketers and advertisers like the call leads. Google will continue to invest in that.
Barry Schwartz: 9:42:26 am
Susan: There was a change in CPC this past quarter and it surprised some investors. There is an increase in paid clicks with a decrease in CPC.
Barry Schwartz: 9:42:45 am
Susan: When we make changes, sometimes they go more to paid clicks vs CPC and so on.
Barry Schwartz: 9:43:22 am
Chris: Your father is a professor and your mother is a school teacher. How did you combine your family life into what you are doing now?
Barry Schwartz: 9:44:14 am
Susan: I grew up on the stanford campus. Growing up on the campus gave me an appreciation for knowledge.
Barry Schwartz: 9:44:50 am
Susan: Even though many of the professors can go to industry and make a lot more money they stay in pursuit of knowledge instead of money. And Google is a lot like that she said.
Barry Schwartz: 9:45:46 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:45:56 am
So she is following that tradition by being at Google
Barry Schwartz: 9:46:03 am
Q&A time from audience...
Barry Schwartz: 9:46:33 am
Q: How do you balance new features vs maintaining the product with ongoing fixes, etc.?
Barry Schwartz: 9:46:52 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:48:08 am
A: We spend a lot of time thinking about this. Our goal is to do both. We are thinking a lot now about how things are changing now (i.e. mobile, display, mobile display, many new features). So now we are thinking about how we can go back and make it easier to use within our console.
Barry Schwartz: 9:49:18 am
Susan: We want our engineers to fully understand how agencies think and use the product.
Barry Schwartz: 9:49:48 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:50:46 am
Q: More and more ads in the way... Why?
Barry Schwartz: 9:51:19 am
A: We haven't added more ads, but we did change how some ads display and some do take up more space. It is a challenge, if people are looking for commercial info, a lot of time, the ads are more useful.
Barry Schwartz: 9:52:45 am
Q: The industry in a whole has a negative view towards advertising. Is this an issue for Google?
Barry Schwartz: 9:53:10 am
Susan: Yea, I think it is an issue. It is part of the challenge and opportunity. Ads are usually just information. So how do you show the right ad at the right time?
Barry Schwartz: 9:53:32 am
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Barry Schwartz: 9:53:53 am
Susan: So that is our goal, if we are successul, there will be a lot less negativity towards ads.
Barry Schwartz: 9:54:15 am
Dany: The superbowl, we turn in just for the ads...
Barry Schwartz: 9:54:29 am
Susan: The is the challenge...
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:07 am
Danny: Can we get a all ads page in Google?
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:14 am
Susan: That is what the yellow pages is about.
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:36 am
Susan: There is a lot of opportunity here and that is the future.
Barry Schwartz: 9:55:49 am
Danny: What is the biggest thing to come in the next few years?
Barry Schwartz: 9:56:01 am
Susan: So many things, the industry moves really fast. In general?
Barry Schwartz: 9:57:19 am
Susan: My most amazing ad experience ever. I have a daughter who wanted to take chinese. So she calls her friends and got a name. After she came back, she checked her email, and the ad in her gmail account was an ad for that teachers name. That was perfect ad experience.
Barry Schwartz: 9:57:50 am
That is all... Next sessions in 45 minutes...
Barry Schwartz: 9:57:52 am
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