The recession could save Google from itself

The recession may be good for Google (GOOG). Its revenue growth will almost certainly be hurt by the economy, but its expansion into businesses that are not related to search may slow considerably. Investors have been concerned that getting into marginally related businesses like YouTube and online desktop applications has been a distraction, and a very big expense. If Google's revenue increases are going to take a hit, it will need to reign in costs to keep its margins.

Google has not acquired a company in six months. This represents quite a dropoff in acquisitions -- Google has done more than 30 deals since 2005. This is especially surprising since the price of acquisitions has almost certainly been driven down significantly by the economy.