As Google continues to move into wearable devices and augmented reality, analysts might need to rethink the influence hardware and cloud computing technology will have on financial models.
For now, a bevy of analyst and data reports released Wednesday analyze technology and trends that are likely to influence Google's Q1 2012 financial earnings when the company reports after the close of the stock market Thursday.
When it comes to organic searches on engines, Google sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March 2012 with 66.4% market share, followed by Microsoft with 15.3%, Yahoo at 13.7%, Ask Network at 3%, and AOL at 1.6%, according to comScore.
While comScore's data does not include mobile queries, The Rimm-Kaufman Group Q1 2012 report attempts to break it out -- at least for its clients. Mobile made up 12% of organic search visits in Q1 and 13% of paid-search clicks. Google holds a 91% share of mobile paid-search clicks, according to the report.
Heading into 1Q earnings, Macquarie Securities analyst Ben Schechter explains his long-term view on how mobile continues to transform Internet use in a research note. He believes a key question for estimating Google's revenue remains how to quantify incremental search volume and search share gains from mobile versus potentially lower mobile monetization and mobile traffic acquisition costs as a percentage of revenue -- especially since the Motorola deal still has not closed.
Concerned about Google's delay in closing the Motorola Mobility deal, Schechter writes: "while mix issues may mask the near-term impact of mobile TAC, we think this is one of the most critical issues for Google going forward." He supports a whopping stock price target of $725.
In the Internet Stocks Q1:12 Preview, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney recalls that Google recently disclosed that approximately 6% of its ad revenue now comes via mobile devices. That should rise when Google releases its 7-inch tablet that could compete directly with the Amazon Kindle Fire. It could have an improved and full-featured Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, he writes.
Mahaney expects Google to report Thursday $8.16 billion in net revenue, up 25%, compared with the prior year's quarter and flat sequentially. He writes that this compares with consensus expectation of $8.13 billion.