Will Google search for more security during a US recession?

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One doesn’t have to think back that far to remember the days when Yahoo was on top of the world.

That time is long gone, but other companies are in worse shape – raise your hand if you don’t want one of the most visited websites in the world. Nonetheless, rumors flew (as they are wont to do) earlier this week that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company will lay off as many as 2,500 employees – out of a workforce in the neighborhood of 14,000 - in coming weeks.

Yahoo sources, quoted anonymously in media reports, downplayed the buzz, saying the numbers were exaggerated. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay told Reuters, however, that he expects the company to lay off 1,000.

And what do the rumored layoffs at Yahoo mean for search rival Google?

In May, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company made GreenBorder its first security acquisition and followed two months later with a buy of messaging security vendor Postini.

But no news in 2008 may not be good news for Google’s share price.

Despite much higher expectations than Yahoo, Google is also likely worried that jitters about online advertising aren’t exclusive to Sunnyvale.

Expect Google to hit the brakes until the economy improves, Laura Martin, Soleil-Media Metrics analyst told Wired blogger Betsy Schiffman.
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