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Google CFO Pichette Says Social Networking a Part of Strategy

Google Inc., owner of the world’s most popular Internet search site, will include social networking in its strategy, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette said.

“Everybody has to take in consideration social signals, but it’s one of so many signals to make the right decision,” Pichette said in a television interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corp. aired today. “So yes, absolutely it will be part of our strategy. Yes, it will be embedded in many of our products.”

Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said in September that Google would add a layer of social-networking features to its main products, prompting speculation it would challenge Facebook Inc., which boasts more than 500 million users. Google said this month it has no plans to develop a social-networking platform and will instead focus on creating social applications.

Pichette discounted a suggestion that Facebook would be a key competitor for Mountain View, California-based Google in the future. The Internet and digital world is “exploding,” he said, and social media is “one chapter of so many.”

Google said in October its third-quarter profit increased as businesses spent more on advertising to attract online consumers. The company is benefitting from increased spending on search-based ads as it pursues opportunities in mobile communications and display advertising.

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