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Google's Marrisa Mayer Talks New Role, LBS And Groupon

MediaBistro interviewed Marissa Mayer about her new role at Google and several related issues. Mayer says she’s “no longer working on search.” She’s now got responsibility for a collection of things associated with Google Maps and local products and some of the company’s mobile products.

Mayer again mentions development of “contextual discovery” as one of her goals in this new role: “How can we use a user’s location and context to help people find what they’re looking for?” And one of the elements of this is “personalized recommendations” — right now embodied in Google’s HotPot effort.

Mayer is asked during the interview about Google’s failed bid to acquire Groupon. She doesn’t speak directly about the deal itself or why it didn’t come together. However she does suggest that Google will be trying to duplicate some aspects of the service with internal assets:

[We have] coupons and offer extension ads that allow merchants to make offers to our users. We’re looking at how can we take that technology and put it to use.

Mayer dismisses the idea that startups are now wary of being acquired by Google, saying that the scale that Google can offer is attractive and useful to these companies. She adds that the relatively new policy of letting acquired entities operate as “autonomous units” will allow them to continue on as though they were still independent. Mayer cites YouTube as a historical example and Slide a more recent example of this.

The video above is part one of three. Parts two and three of the interview are being posted today and tomorrow.

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