Google Reports Clicks, Cost Per Clicks On Ads Fall In Q4

Google reported Q4 2014 earnings Thursday. Its overall search business held its own in the quarter, all except the price of clicks and clicks related to ads on non-Google properties participating in search programs. The clicks related to ads served on non-Google properties participating in its AdSense for Search, AdSense for Content and AdMob businesses programs fell 7% sequentially and 11% year-on-year in Q4 2014.

Competition on desktop and prices on mobile search ads continue to weigh heavy on Google's business model.

Aggregate paid clicks -- which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of its network members -- rose 14% in Q4 2014, compared with the year-ago quarter. Paid clicks related to ads served on Google owned-and-operated properties such as search, YouTube TrueView ads, Maps and Finance rose 25% in the quarter compared with the year-ago quarter.

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The average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of its network members, fell approximately 3% over the fourth quarter of 2013. Cost-per-click for Google sites fell approximately 8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, and network cost-per-clicks rose 6%.

Google's revenue grew 15% in the fourth quarter to $18.10 billion, end Dec. 31, 2014, but fell short of Wall Street's expectations on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. The full-year revenue for 2014 rose 19% to $66 billion compared with the prior year.

Other revenue comprised primarily of data center operational expenses, content acquisition costs, revenue share payments to mobile carriers and original equipment manufacturers and hardware inventory costs rose to $3.30 billion -- or 18% of revenue -- in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $2.94 billion, or 19% of revenues, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

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