Well, all the nervous hand-wringing about Yahoo’s poor results and what they might mean for Google turns out to be unnecessary. The search behemoth turned in a stellar quarter that thrashed analysts’ estimates fairly soundly, and there was no mention of any weakness in advertising (which Yahoo blamed for its 37-per-cent drop in profits). In fact, Google not only didn’t feel the same pain as Yahoo — it helped dish some out, by continuing to take market share away from Yahoo in ad-related search.
Thanks to Google, people are probably getting used to the idea of a company with almost 10,000 employees and revenue of more than $8-billion doubling its profit and boosting its sales by 70 per cent in a year — even though that is almost unheard of. I think Microsoft in its heyday was probably the only company that grew like that and managed to keep it up for any length of time. In any case, it is so unusual as to be almost freakish.
Another thing that sort of jumped out at me as I looked through the numbers: Google went from having 7,900 or so employees last quarter to 9,450 or so this quarter — meaning it hired about 1,500 people in three months. That’s an average of 500 people a month, or about 25 people every working day. That is mind-boggling. For better or worse, there is nothing like this company out there right now, anywhere.