If you're looking for something, anything online, just Google it. That's true for any topic -- especially for the economy.
We're out of the woods when it comes to the economy, the Internet search giant says.
Eric Schmidt, the company’s chief, said Thursday, "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."
The Mountain View-based company's profits rose from last year, exceeding Wall Street's predictions. It reported solid earnings this week that boosted the company's net income to nearly $6 billion in the third quarter -- that's up 7 percent from the same time last year.
Most of the company's profits come from advertising dollars. So the growth could be a signal that people who spend time online are also spending money in stores.
The positive news means Google can keep expanding its empire and buy more companies. Schmidt also said the "we expect to continue to make significant capital expenditures.”
Specifically, it's looking at smaller companies that are ahead of the game in search or advertising to help them stay ahead of the curve. They want to speed up and maximize the possibilities their upcoming Chrome OS. They're even looking to hire.
That's happy news to the valley's small startups, who can make millions, or billions, just by selling themselves to Google. Just ask Chad Hurley and the gang from YouTube, who sold their money losing startup to Google for $1.65 billion. Or Postini. Or Grand Central. Or Feedburner. And let's not forget the $3 billion for DoubleClick.
Many entrepreneurs (and their venture capitalist investors) are finding the fastest way to riches isn't building a company the way Hewlett and Packard did, or selling shares in an initial public offering, but selling to a bigger company like Google or Cisco.
The technology sector has been a bright spot in the markets, and is credited with helping fuel the Wall Street surge that nudged the Dow past 10,000 this week.
The uptick is in line with optimism from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who this summer said that the recession was nearing an end. Bernanke said economic activity around the world was leveling out and that the recession should begin to ease by the end of the year.