I've heard a wide range of reactions among SES attendees to Google CFO George Reyes' "Law of large numbers" comments, which sent the company's stock into a brief tailspin. If you missed it, Reyes said Google faces an era of slower growth and must look for new sources of revenue.
People I've spoken with largely dismiss those who suggest Reyes' comments mark the end of the great Google hogride. Sure, the company will exit hypergrowth (at least in the States); but the consensus here is that today's horrified headlines (Daily News: "Stox Dive on Google Jolt") say more about investor and journalist expectations than about Google's prospects.
That said, people clearly smell a whiff of change in the searchosphere. Google's comments combined with new evidence of a slowdown in search query volume in the U.S. create the impression that the hottest part of the fire, as far as online marketing is concerned, may have cooled somewhat.
Update: Google issued a statement "clarifying" Reyes comments, and John Battelle notes this isn't the first time Reyes has discomforted his employer with freely uttered concerns.
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Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.