When Google went public in August, 2004, co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin made no secret of the company’s disdain for how the Wall St. system of analyst ratings and recommendations works. They wrote a letter saying they had no interest in trying to manage analysts expectations and keep Wall St. happy on a quarterly basis. You can imagine how they’re feeling this week as Wall St. keeps changing its mind on how Google will fare in the slowing economy.

For weeks, many analysts have been bullish on Google’s chances to survive the slowdown. This week, they’ve changed their minds. Silicon Alley Insider’s Henry Blodget notes that “the tone has changed,” and sums up the current thoughts of several analysts. One analyst says, “FUNDAMENTALS HORRIBLE BUT MAYBE SOME HOPE LONG TERM.”

On TechCrunch, Michael Arrington notes that a Citigroup analyst who loved Google last month changed his mind this week because, the analyst says, we’re entering “almost surely the worst economic environment in our collective lifetimes.” Stay tuned for next week’s SearchBiz, when “almost surely” the analysts will change their minds again.

If you’re like me, you’ve noticed that Google has been making a lot of announcements this week. And last week. And the week before. And the week before that. But why? Silicon Alley Insider knows why: Google has finally started to fire slackers. That’s the word from an unnamed employee inside Googleplex who’s watched co-workers get the axe recently. (Look for plenty more announcements from non-slackers.)

Continuing the Google theme, the New York Times looks at what Google employees do after they leave the company — not the “slackers” who are getting canned, but the ones who are taking their GOOG windfall to leave and start their own companies. Some of these Xooglers have started a support group to help each other out in their post-Google lives. Says former Google product manager Avichal Garg, who recently co-founded PrepMe.com: “All of these people are leaving who are relatively young and ended up with fair bit of money. They didn’t walk away with $20 million, but they walked away with $2 million. And now the cost of running a new company is so low that essentially Google financed their start-up.”

And lastly, TechCrunch asks, “Is Apple Building A Search Engine?” Answer: No. But Arrington suggests they might be trying to “radically” alter the search experiences on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and so forth.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Search Biz

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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