How long can Google beat the crunch?

Google’s Q4 revenues are up 18% but Microsoft’s online operating losses have doubled. What’s going on? According to Google, their modest success is all down to folk who are still ploughing modest advertising spend into search. Then there’s the fact that they’ve super-turbo-charged the engine itself with over 300 enhancements.However, only last week it was reported that search marketing budgets in the States have fallen 8% year-on-year in Q4 2008 (Revolution). So, the big question – is Google’s crunch trouncing success sustainable? And, if so, for how long? Of course, the real question is how useful either of the businesses’ quarterly reports/forecasts are in predicting their future. Given the new rules of the market, can anyone really predict who the winners or losers will be?