[intro]Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to escape my desk and venture over to MediaCityUK to listen to a talk by one of the most influential people in the digital world — Matt Brittin.[/intro]

Matt joined Google in 2007 after gaining a masters at Cambridge and then working in  media and marketing for a number of years.

In a very informative and enthusiastic talk, with the reluctant usage of Internet Explorer and Bing due to BBC download policies, the message was simple.

“Fast and Happy”

Its as simple as that, the well-known secret to Google’s success.
Matt said: ‘We are unlike most other websites; we want you off ours as soon as possible’.
Which for a search engine is exactly how it should be.

Matt went on to demonstrate this by typing the letter ‘w’ into Google.  The Google team in Califonia had worked out that when people in Manchester type ‘w’ they are most likely to be looking for…….’weather’

Google are making use of all the information available to them to give us a better  experience.  Predictive search for the drop down list of potential searches and Geolocation to locate where we are in the world.

Google Insights was also plugged at the event.  With Google Insights you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, timeframes and properties.

Matt demonstrated the popularity of Mr Bean worldwide.  Surprisingly at this moment in time, Mr Bean is most popular in Pakistan.

You may be wondering how this could be of any use.  Well it would be very useful for online shops.  For instance if I sold Mr Bean DVDs primarily in the UK, I may now look to upping my advertising in Pakistan, something I could quickly achieve through Google Adwords and setting my advertisements to be displayed in major cities in Pakistan.

Another very interesting point Matt raised was about e-commerce.  Matt commissioned a team of researchers to work out the annual GDP of ecommerce around the world.
It turns out 7% of the UK’s GDP is through e-commerce, second only to Denmark but double that of the USA.

After the presentation the floor was opened for a Q&A session. When asked ‘Who do you see as your main competitor’ Matt quickly answered ‘Two blokes in a garage’ which is a philosophy which has come straight from the top (Harry Rankin & Larry Page).  Many of the largest internet and IT companies have started this way.

This did raise the question in my head: “Can two blokes in a garage still launch a major IT enterprise?”.  I think the latest garage-to-worldwide phenomenon was Twitter, which is now five years old.

Matt also stressed the need for openness within companies and for cross-departmental sharing, especially within the educational sector.

All in all, it was great to finally see the inside of MediaCityUK and a major coup to have such an influential speaker within a strolling distance from Carbon Creative’s HQ.