Google 2011 and Beyond: New Resolutions
Google is obviously aware that every move they make is being closely monitored by the U.S. government. The close monitoring has likely been taking a toll on Google, and these same concerns are already being addressed in Europe. Many startups would not put themselves in a position to be acquired by Google if that meant that government scrutiny over the deal will cause a six month hold.
Social networking's relevance cannot be overstressed. If Google wants to be the next big thing in social networking, it needs to tap into the trend, use social searches more efficiently and and effectively, and monetize the results--and they need to do it soon, before someone else corners that market.