Google PH eyes localizing content to fit Pinoys' needs

By TJ Manotoc, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2013 06:46 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2013 06:43 PM

MANILA - "I'm feeling lucky!"

These were the opening words of new Google country manager to the Philippines Narciso Reyes during the opening of its office on Wednesday.

The former Google employee in the US is heading back home as he now has one of the coolest jobs in the tech industry.

His task: to lead a sales and marketing team in the Philippines to further the growth of their services by localizing more of their content to fit the needs of Filipino netizens.

Julian Persaud, Google's managing director for Southeast Asia, stressed the importance of focusing on emerging markets and on tuning in closer to the needs of Filipinos.

The numbers they presented pegged Philippine internet usage at 33 million, but in only 2 years, analysts predict this number to double to 66 million.

They add that Filipinos will be a significant force in the expected 500 million internet users worldwide by 2015.

Google added that they now have a "mobile-first" strategy, which recognizes the phenomenal growth in the adoption of internet-enabled mobile phones and tablets.

They say two-thirds of mobile phones in the Philippines can now access the internet, so the next step is to get them online.

And that's where Google Philippines will focus on: bringing them online with free services like Google Free Zone, Google's YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Plus.

Google's investment in the Philippine office is for the long-term, they say, as they plan to stay in the country and truly develop their suite of services and products with a more localized feel not just for their users and customers but also their clients who can now work closer with Google executives on their creative needs in exposing their brands and services.

Google Philippines promises to focus on the 3 main values they see Filipinos focus on the most: family, education, and safety.

On the family aspect, they aim to bring more OFW families closer with the use of video calling.

The Department of Education (DepEd) is a major Philippine client. It has now put up 17 peta-bytes of data on Google cloud services.

Google is also committed to continue to improve its free services like Google person finder and their crisis map in times of calamities that inevitably hit the Philippines year after year.