Wednesday, the company announced that Google Labs will die like Google Health, Google PowerMeter, real-time Twitter search, and 11 APIs before it. There are probably more changes to come, if his public statements are any indication.
"Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter, more wood behind fewer arrows... We've also done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product line," he told investors this week. "While much of that work has not yet become visible externally, I'm very happy with our progress here. Focus and prioritization are crucial given our amazing opportunities."
Looking at Google as a company, Page's plans make a lot of sense. For the past few years, they've been building out their core search business in countries outside the United States. That's incredibly important to the company's bottom line as international revenue now outstrips U.S. revenue.
But it's clear that the company can only grow by expanding geographically for so long. While overall year over year growth was solid, quarter over quarter growth was down to 5 percent. That's better than contraction but it's a far cry from the massive gains Google's seen in the past. Google needs some new things to succeed outside of its core desktop search ad business.
And that's where Page's new initiatives come in. In one of the most exciting Google events in a while, the company's head of search announced a variety of initiatives to push Google Search beyond Search. They're talking advanced voice search across all platforms, and of course, the inclusion of social signals from +1ing across the Web.
Mobile search is exploding right now, too, and Google's Android operating system is now being activated on 500,000 phones a day. That gives them a serious foothold in the combined mobile browser/OS wars, which could have all kinds of knock-on effects for the company's future offerings for phones.
Then, of course, we have Google+, which we have covered exhaustively here on the blog because it's more important than your average social network launch. G+ is an attempt to tie together your searching and social behavior on both the mobile and desktop. At the same time, G+ is becoming the skeleton on which a lot of other Google products will hang. Think of it as the nexus for Google's disparate products and your disparate online behaviors. That's a big play and one that may even work. If it does, Google will have created a better product for you, the user, and for their real customers, advertisers, too.
For sure, there are still things the search giant could clarify a bit. For example, where the hell is the Chromebook going? And how about all those other search products like Google Books and Google News? Are they part of the plan or will they be put out to pasture like Google Health?
But you know, it's only been 100 days (OK, 108 to be exact) and already it's clear Page has a vision of a more streamlined, more potent Google.
Image: Kimberly White/Reuters. Heavily edited.