Amit Singhal, one of Google's most senior search experts, has told TechRadar that he believes that search will remain at the heart of the company for 'the foreseeable future'.
Google's portfolio of products has exploded in the past few years, leading to suggestions that search has become a less vital part of the company, despite launching it to prominence.
But Singhal – one of only four Google fellows and a leading light in adapting the company's fames search algorithm – told TechRadar that this was absolutely not the case.
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"I think inside the company there is no doubt that search is critical to Google," Singhal told TechRadar. "It has always been and for the foreseeable future will be."
"Outside the company what happens sometimes is, with the array of wonderful products that we launch, maps, android and various things - those get more 'ink' than the core which is critical to the company and our users.
"That's why an impression can be gained from outside of the company that Google isn't really thinking about search as much, whereas the truth cannot be further from that."
Later, speaking at a briefing, Singhal insisted that competition from Microsoft's well-received Bing search engine has helped the Google team.
"I think that having competition is always good," added Singhal. "I'm personally a big believer that competition makes all of us far more nimble and far more hungry.
"The only way anyone will win [in search] and should win is by out-innovating the competitors and that's what we believe in.
"The only way you win is by running fast. I know the other team, I have good friends on that other team – they can't drink like I can – but they are my friends!"