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Welcome to the Q & A Technical FAQ

Welcome to the Q & A Technical FAQ


Interview Rosh Hashana with Meir Brand, Google Israel CEO 

   Translate to English: 30.9.6
  Interviewer: Hermon

   Google Israel CEO, the man who got selected as the most influential man by TheMarker and other leading sites Israel , Meir Brand in a special interview for Rosh Hashana.
 In the course of last year, Google Israel under the leadership of Brand, migrated the following services to Hebrew: Adwords, AdSense, GMail, Google News , Google Alerts and Google Accounts.

Photograph: Google

About Google

How did you get to Google?
 I underwent a lengthy, meticulous process, as usual in Google, with multiple stages and many interviews, mainly abroad.
 I am very happy to serve in my present position and recommend to anyone hooked on the Internet and surfs constantly to take a peek at the Google job openings on our home page every once in a while.
How many people are employed at Google Israel and what is the number of employees you are aiming at?
 The number of employees at Google constantly changes.
Just under a year ago I sat alone in a small office.
Now we are establishing in addition to Google Israel an R&D unit in Haifa headed by Dr. Yoel Mark, and as published in the press, we intend to establish an additional R&D unit in the center of the country.
However, we are still a very small, but elite, group.

 What are the goals of Google Israel?
 Are they to enable Google Israel to profit from advertisers and website owners or are there other major goals?

 Google's main objective in everything we do is to provide every person with the ultimate search experience.
 This is the vision that guided Google from the day of its inception and also guides our activities in Israel.
 This is why we declared our intention to convert Google's services into Hebrew over the next two years.
Beyond that, Google is also growing as a commercial company, enabling its continued technological development.
We have already declared our intent to establish 2 R&D centers in Israel that will become part of Google's international development system.

 What is the difference between the Haifa and Tel Aviv development centers and does Google intend to open development centers in Jerusalem, Raanana, Netanya and Beer Sheba too?

The two development centers are separate entities, their precise areas of operation will only be determined when they begin to operate so it is yet too soon to tell. As for additional centers – as mentioned, Google does not announce its plans before they are realized.

Why is Google Israel operating in secret without disclosing anything about itself, no phone number, no address.

Is anything about to change on this matter in the near future?
 I beg to differ on the above definition.

In most important things Google is extremely candid and the amount of information about Google that can be found on Google is immense
 I need only point out the detailed description we provide about job opportunities in Israel and around the world.
 As for our location – in Israel we are still, as we declared in advance, in foundation and establishment stages.
The locations we occupy are temporary and there is no point in publishing them, and furthermore, they are not designed to receive customers.
 As for our telephone number – Google is living in the Internet Age, we respond to every query and do so digitally over the Web.

 Why is there no Hebrew support for gmail (Pages Help) in Hebrew?
Is this situation about to change or do you intend to have Hebrew gmail without support?
Part of our core mission is that we want to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible, and relevant.
 We are investing everywhere and in time we hope to provide gmail support in Hebrew as we want to provide better local products and services for all users.
 Localization is about much more than translation.
 We have an increasing number of engineers and product managers working to tailor our products to meet the different needs of different countries.

When we have something to announce I’ll be in touch.

 Is it true Google Israel will map out Israel in the near future and intends to issue the maps on Google Maps?
 The ability to innovate is fundamental to our success.
That is why we launch products in beta – learning from real users about how best to improve them.
 And it’s why we have a 70:20:10 rule.
This keeps engineers focused on search but also enables them to experiment with new ideas.

 What is the truth about the Google Earth story regarding sensitive installations?
Google is committed to agreements with the US government and private parties to refrain from publishing satellite photos of Israel at resolutions higher than 2m.

Why did it take Google so long to reach Israel, why didn't you arrive long ago with Microsoft?
What caused you to think of us beside the search engine?

 I am glad you feel as if Google has always been around, or at least since Microsoft was established.
The truth is Google was established only 7 years ago and has been operating outside the United States for less than five years.
The Hebrew search engine has been operating for over two years and the Israeli office was established about a year ago.
 So you see, Google actually arrived in Israel pretty early and already placed its major service – its search engine – at the disposal of Hebrew language surfers prior to that.

 Will Google's Google Translate compete with Babylon, since it already has Arabic?
 Google does not see itself competing with any company, but operates alongside other companies to increase human knowledge and search abilities. Regarding future plans and activities, Google does not elaborate on this subject.
 When you said you would convert most Google services into Hebrew, what services don't you intend to convert – besides future plans – the people would love to know – so as not to develop expectations and then get let down?
 This is a question that cannot be answered.
Google does not have any decisions in principle regarding products it will never convert.
As mentioned, we would like to convert as many products as possible and no doubt take into consideration the relevance of these products to surfers.

Is update Page Rank about to be included in the search engine in the coming month?
Google is all about democratizing information – making it universally accessible and useful – we are a search business.
The democratization of information has empowered people.
 We have more people working on search than ever before and more resources dedicated to it than ever before.
 It remains the core and focus of our business and therefore we constantly update our algorhythms and techniques to ensure our resutls remain pure, unbiased and without spam.

On Blogim and Sites Israelim

 What is your opinion of Israeli bloggers?
Bloggers in Israel are only beginning to flourish , and I expect an even faster growth rate than now.
 Among Hebrew bloggers in our area one can find people with great knowledge and profound acquaintance with the field.

In general, Israeli bloggers provide a significant contribution to Hebrew Web content and in future may enjoy Google AdSense services and receive remuneration for their important work.
 By the way, anyone who would like to extend their acquaintance with various blogs all over the world, I recommend Google Blog Search services, and in order to keep posted on the company's new services one should read Google's official blogs at:

Do you read Israeli blogs?
Yes, I do my best to follow the leading blogs and believe them to be an interesting source of information.
 However, my intense work at Google leaves me with less time than I would like to dedicate to this subject.

 Do you follow Israeli newspapers and websites?

This is exactly why we have the wonderful Hebrew tool, Google News, that provides me with all the news from Hebrew websites and digital content sources in real time and with alarms.

Why doesn't Google News work properly in the Hebrew entertainment category?
As you may see on the site itself, Google News is still in its beta version, we are continuously improving the service.

 Do you believe Walla is a serious competitor for Google in light of the fact Walla Computers did not publish any item regarding Hebrew gmail and the fact Walla removed itself from Google News?
Google does not regard other content providers as competition but as partners, just as we cooperate with other websites, including AOL and even Ask Jeeves world-wide.
 Walla is free to decide which news to share with its surfers.
 As for Google News, this is a service that should enable Israeli surfers to reach content providers items with ease, and we will be happy if Walla decides to join all other Israeli content sites in receiving this service.

 Did Nana approach you or did you approach them?
 Are you in serious negotiations with any other websites?

Google does not provide information about negotiations with its business partners.
 Google constantly attempts to increase its cycle of partners.

How do you visualize Google in 10 years time?
 10 years are a long time when it comes to the Internet.
 May I remind you Google has been around for only 7 years.
In any case, no doubt Google will continue to innovate and surprise on its way towards attaining the goal of continuous improvement in accessibility of all human beings to the body of human knowledge and its organization.

What is your opinion of Microsoft, your previous employer?
 I believe Microsoft is an excellent company that employs excellent people.

  And finally, question surfers keep asking me: does Hermon work for Google Israel?
 You are welcome to submit your application, we are always on the lookout for good people.

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