Lindsay says Google is recession-resistant -- but not recession-proof.
"They're not totally insulated from it," he says, noting that the company could take a hit if advertisers decide to pull back on spending. Consumers also will be less likely to click through ads for, say, a plasma TV, if they're feeling the pain.
At the same time, with advertisers shifting their spending from traditional mediums to online, Google still stands to weather -- and even benefit from -- a downturn.
Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney notes that over the last two years, Google's forward price-to-earnings ratio has ranged between 25 and 35. At $500, Google's P/E ratio of 25 would suggest a bottom is at hand.As for any potential merger between Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report), Mahaney expects Google to remain on top. Google is widely expected to maintain its lead over the two companies in search, even if they combine their resources. Lindsay says Google may even benefit from the merger by stealing away some of its rivals' customers as well as its workers. "We think it's probably going to be a net positive for Google," he says.