Worst of the Recession Over For Google, Anyway

Declaring that the “worst of the recession” likely is behind one’s company could tempt fate in unwelcome ways. Such a statement also inspires a bit of envy among the millions of unemployed workers in the U.S. Then again, it could herald the beginning of new and more prosperous times for the American economy. Google Inc. (GOOG), of course, leans toward the latter interpretation as it revels in third-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Google’s net income jumped to $1.64 billion, up from $1.29 billion during the same period of 2008. Sales, too, rose, by 1 percent to $4.38 billion, the Internet giant reported on Thursday.

“Google had a strong quarter – we saw 7 percent year-over-year revenue growth despite the tough economic conditions,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a prepared statement. “While there is a lot of uncertainty about the pace of economic recovery, we believe the worst of the recession is behind us and now feel confident about investing heavily in our future.”

To that end, Google expects to keep increasing its online ad revenue and is considering strategic acquisitions that would further its initiatives including video, mobile search and the Android operating system. Additionally, Google expects YouTube to start making money soon, executives told analysts during a conference call on Thursday.

With any luck, Google’s renewed focus on monetizing the Internet will translate into new jobs. Lots of ‘em. And then we’ll know the recession really is behind us.

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