Google's sales soared but not all good news

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 10:51am

Google's sales soared in the fourth quarter as clicks on ads exploded, boosted by mobile searches, but the amount that advertisers paid Google for those clicks continued to slip. Google also lost money on its Motorola business.

Google said its revenue rose 39% to $11.3 billion in the fourth quarter, excluding advertising sales that it shares with partners. Net income rose to $2.89 billion, up 6.6% from a year ago. Shares of Google rose by 5% in after hours trading.

The number of paid clicks Google racked up surged 24%, but the cost per click fell 6% compared to last year -- the fifth consecutive quarter in which average click costs fell.

Through a search deal with Apple, and by activating 1 million Android devices a day, Google controls a 93.3% share of the U.S. mobile search ad market, according to online advertising analysis firm emarketer. Though that's a stunning achievement, the entire market is worth less than $2 billion, eMarketer says.


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