Google’s Mayer: “We Do Have Too Many Products” In Local

google-pushpinsGoogle Maps. Google Places. Google Earth. Google Hotpot. Google Latitude. Google Street View. Different mobile and desktop versions of some of those. Different Android and iPhone versions of some. The list could go on.

If you think Google has too many locally-oriented products, you’re not alone. Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search who recently began focusing on the company’s local efforts, agrees.

“I think that, ultimately, we do have too many products and we need to condense them,” Mayer said Friday at the SXSWi conference in Austin. “I think some of our products should be features. Arguably Google Latitude, Hotpot … Hotpot is a feature, it’s a feature of Places. But they need to be features.”

Mayer says the reason Google’s approach to local has so many different products is because the company keeps trying new experiments. South by Texas State captured her comments in this YouTube video.

In the clip above, Mayer says “it does make sense to consolidate around Maps,” but ultimately, there may not be just one Google local product. “There probably is more than one product at the end of the day, but I do think we need to condense somewhat, especially now that we know which of these experiments are successful.”

Mayer called both Hotpot and Latitude examples of “successful” experiments. According to the Kelsey Group, Mayer said Hotpot has more than three million user contributions (ratings and reviews) and is receiving more than a million per month now.

Mayer also told the audience that Google Maps currently sees about 40% of its usage from mobile devices, and on two recent days — Christmas 2010 and New Year’s Day 2011 — mobile usage of Google Maps surpassed desktop usage. According to paidContent, Mayer also admitted that Google needs to “step up our customer service” for Google Maps and its related products.

SXSW uploaded its own video from Mayer’s comments; it’s more of a highlight reel with short snippets from her presentation edited together. I’ll embed that video below.

(push pin image via

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Google: Place Pages | Google: Street View | Top News


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • Michael Dorausch

    Excellent coverage Matt. I wonder if Google thinks about Panoramio as a local product? I know it’s primarily a photo site, but it’s a geolocation oriented photo site, that quite often is getting mixed in w/place pages. Thoughts?

  • Matt McGee

    That’s another one I probably should’ve/could’ve mentioned, good point Michael. I doubt Panoramio exists as part of the local group, though, but it definitely has elements that come into play with the local products.

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