Search Marketing, The Cash Cow For Google's Moonshot Projects

It may have started with search engine marketing supported by Web browsers in the late 1990s, and eventually Chrome, but Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have no intention of stopping there. The two stood in front of shareholders Wednesday trying to make a case for further investments in futuristic projects and a variety of media.

A letter to shareholders accompanying the company's proxy statement ahead of Google's shareholder meeting at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters Wednesday explains the cofounder's passion for futuristic projects such as glucose detecting contact lens, and driverless cars that are far from its original mission of cataloging and giving people access to the world's information.

In the letter to shareholders, Brin and Page hailed the potential of increasing computing power that makes "life better for people everywhere."

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"Search engines made a leap from modest-sized ones that would search over limited, separate corpuses, to those we know today that attempt to search all the world's knowledge," per the letter. "Just as advancements in miniaturization and power consumption have made the contact lens possible, it was similar progress in computing power and cost that allowed us to create comprehensive search, and make it accessible to anyone with an Internet connection."

It's unknown how much of the profits from Google search goes back into the company to support the company's "moonshots" projects, but overall Google's revenue in the first quarter of 2015 from advertising rose 11% to $15.5 billion, and fell 5% sequentially. Paid clicks on Google's Web sites rose 25% in the quarter, compared with the prior year, but fell sequentially, 3%.

During the live broadcast, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said if you follow Google's core mission, where the company invests most of its money, the focus follows creating something useful. Google doesn't necessarily start with a business plan to support a large market, but rather "try to identify a problem that has to get solved," he said.

David Drummond, SVP, corporate development and chief legal officer at Google, explained that the company also invests in technologies that support cognitive disabilities, for example.

Aside from self driving cars and glucose monitoring lenses, some of the big bets being made at Google include cloud computing, 4G network, and moving from searching to making suggestions.  

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