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Google's fortunes are tied to ad spending that's dwindling as both marketers and consumers squirrel away more cash. Although Google's revenue has continued to rise during the 15-month-old recession, some analysts say they believe the company may finally be suffering its first quarter-to-quarter decline since it went public in 2004.
It's a guessing game because Google steadfastly refuses to offer financial guidance. But Google's recent actions have left little doubt that management is bracing for a possible downturn.
Once renowned for its free-spending ways, Google already has curtailed some employee perquisites, dumped outside contractors, and closed services that aren't paying off.