Google January Revenues Are "Disaster"
Here's one to fan the flames of the Google-recession debate: ComScore is reporting "shockingly bad" paid search performance for Google in January. Being a panel-based traffic measurement firm, comScore's won't be exact, but as Silicon Alley Insider's notes, "Even if Comscore is only half right, this is a disaster."
The surprising news broke in a flash note from Bear Sterns analyst Bob Peck. ComScore reported 532 million domestic paid clicks in January, flat year-over-year, but down 12 percent since October. Click-throughs were the lowest since comScore started reporting the data, which only came from Google.com (not the AdSense network) in the U.S.
Any way you cut it, this is bad recession-reflecting news: Consumers aren't clicking because they just aren't spending as much. comScore reported a 25 percent growth rate for Google.com's domestic revenue in the fourth quarter--a quarter that disappointed Wall Street. The measurement is now saying January revenues were flat. Even Google isn't recession-proof.