Google-Emerson Radio AdsIf you’ve ever wondered about what it takes to become the world’s top search engine, then you might want to take a look at the February 4 issue of Fortune. The magazine conducted a joint interview with Google’s top brass and uncovered a key element to its success: long-term commitment.

Google’s top three executives made a pact to work together for 20 years prior to its initial public offering nearly 4 years ago. In the interview, Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt revealed their oath, saying that they started their commitment shortly before the 2004 IPO.

“We agreed the month before we went public that we should work together for 20 years,” said Schmidt, who added that he will be 69 years old by that time. Page would be 51 and Brin 50.

Schmidt is Google’s chairman. Page is president of products and Brin is president of technology. Each is a billionaire.

The interview’s timing could not be more precise: Google is expected to announce its financial reports for the fourth quarter of 2007 on Thursday. Wall Street estimates Google’s 2007 revenue to be around $16.6 billion. Given that timeframe, the trio has more than decade left to introduce new products and services bearing the Google name. What the future has in store for them, and ultimately for users, remains to be seen.

Look for the full interview in the February issue of Fortune magazine.

Reuters: Top Google Execs Pledged to Stay 20 years: report