This is a big year for new Google products, as the company has introduced its own smartphone, the Nexus One, and is in the process of trying to buy AdMob, the mobile advertising player, pending Federal Trade Commission (FTC) review. I thought it would be a good idea to run through the Google earnings call from last week and see which key trends the company is focusing on.
Here they are:
- Mobile advertising. Google sees huge growth in mobile advertising. This is why they would like to close the AdMob deal. On the earnings call, the company said that advertising customers are seeing increased mobile search & advertising activity and and that the company is focused on a “mobile first” strategy of adding mobile-friendly features. It was mum on what’s going on with AdMob and the FTC other than saying they are “working with the FTC.”
- Location: A main component of mobile is location. During the quarter Google launched Near Me Now which allows you to search via location to find services in the vicinity.
- Android & Chrome growth: Google is pushing hard with its new operating systems. The company said that Android is now powering 34 devices, up 70% quarter-over-quarter. 60,000 Android devices are sold and activated every day, according to Google. There are now 38,000 apps, up 70% quarter-over-quarter.
- Nexus One Profitable: The company stated on the conference call that Nexus One is now a profitable business.
- Traffic acquistion costs: On the negative side, Google’s costs for traffic acquisition were up. One financial analyst noticed that it’s interesting that Google is becoming more of a marketing company. Traffic acquisition costs were $1.7 billion or 26% of total advertising revenue. in fact, overall, Google’s marketing spend overall increased nearly 50% year-over-year.
- Paid Click & Ad trends: Susan Wojcicki, VP of products, Google said: “We saw advertisers come back and start spending again driven by a lot of our largest advertisers really increasing their spend …”
- Social Networking Competition: Perhaps the most interesting part of the conference call came when a financial analyst, Imran Khan of JP Morgan, asked about growth in social networks, including Facebook : “They are growing significantly faster as a [profit] source to a lot of your big customers like Ebay. How do you think Facebook and other social networking sites are a big long-term threat to Google’s business model?” Google’s answer: “We don’t comment on the issue of Facebook.”