When the economy turns sour just about every company starts to cut expenses and usually the first thing that goes is the one service where the perceived value is less. Search engine optimization is one of those services that could be threatened by the recession.
I would strongly caution against cutting back on your SEO for your business. Companies that I’ve seen do that have in the past regretted it. Typically what happens is they’ll see their search rankings decline. After dropping off the first page they’ll see fewer and fewer visitors to their websites and that will result in fewer conversions and less overall sales. Almost always these customers restart their optimization and they have to claw their way back up the search engine ladder to top rankings. That takes longer usually than the drop off and takes more resources long term.
It may seem that a recession is the time to cut expenses, but you don’t want to cut your marketing expenses. It’s really the time when you should be marketing more, not less. If you think of search engine optimization as a part of your overall marketing strategy then that puts it a little more into perspective.