According to WebGuild, Google has been quietly laying off hundreds of "employees" since August and had not reported it, getting around a legal requirement because most of these individuals were considered temporary contractors, thereby being considered "operational expenses." Those impacted by the Google layoffs were individuals who were hired full time at Google without being offered full-time benefits. After that WebGuild story broke, CNET said that there are 10,000 contractors on Google's staff and Google plans to "significantly reduce" that number.
At Sphinn, it's becoming increasingly obvious that Google is not the golden company it once was. Google is a "normal tech company" who does things just like other tech companies, though it's also a "powerful behemoth." Of course, being a temporary agent for the company is never a fun thing.