Larry Page is the billionaire co-founder of Google and its current CEO, so when he talks, it is usual for the rest of us to listen.
Page’s latest opining has been captured during an interview with Wired, in which he passed comment on the various rivals that Google is presented with in the modern market.
He was responding to a question about whether or not Google is having to compete with social media sites, which inevitably led Page to talk about Facebook, which he effectively dubbed the soul contender worthy of attention.
Page admitted that in the past it has been difficult for Google to accurately gauge the wants and needs of its users and thus deliver the most relevant and responsive experience of the web on an individual basis.
However, he seemed confident that this state of affairs had changed and went on to criticise Facebook roundly, claiming that it is not living up to expectations with the products that it has launched.
Page would not be drawn on identifying specific areas of Facebook’s business that he sees as being sub-par, but the broadly dismissive nature of his statements when discussing Mark Zuckerberg’s company, were barely disguised.
Page was also questioned over the issue of general competitiveness in the markets which Google dominates, to the point of near monopoly. He said that it is the media which perpetuates the competition myth, arguing that it was not the driving force behind his firm.
He outlined the idea that Google employees are not motivated by a need to beat off rivals and conquer the market in which they operate, but rather by a desire to do the best possible job and develop the most appealing products as a result. The competitive mindset is something that actually causes other companies to gradually disintegrate, according to Page.
Although he did not explicitly point to a particular Facebook product that was disappointing, Page did say that there is enough room for Google or other rivals to share the same market and also claimed that his own company is attempting to march to a different beat and forge its own unique experiences.
You have to wonder whether, in a week that Facebook launched its Graph Search tool to mixed reviews, Page was not alluding to the middling efforts of this social media giant, since it went public last year.
In the wake of the Graph Search launch, there have been a million conversations and even more articles covering the topic, most of which focus on the potential threat that it poses Google and the ramifications of this service for SEO.
The quiet confidence of Page, along with his clearly combative demeanour during the interview, suggest that Google is not overly concerned about how Graph Search will impact its market share or shape the way that people find information and links online. It will be some time until the full picture emerges, but until then, Google will remain a vitally important part of the web machine.