Google Feels Rollercoaster Effect With Up And Down Revenue, Paid-Click Advertising

Google's revenue in the quarter ended March 31, 2015 rose 11.9% to $17.26 billion compared with the first quarter of 2014. Revenue from advertising rose 11% to $15.5 billion, but fell 5% sequentially. Google also notes other revenue at $1.75 billion, up 23% year-on-year, but down 2% sequentially.

Google-owned sites generated $11.9 billion in revenue during Q1 2014, up 14% compared with the year-ago quarter, but down 4% sequentially. Partner sites generated $3.57 billion in revenue, up 1% from the year-ago quarter, but down 8% sequentially.

Aggregate paid clicks for Q1 2015 rose 13% year-on-year, but fell 1% sequentially. Paid clicks on Google Web sites rose 25% YoY and fell 3% sequentially. Paid clicks on member sites fell 12% year-on-year and rose 4% sequentially. The aggregate cost per click (CPC) fell 7% YoY and 5% sequentially, while CPCs on Google Web sites fell 13 YoY and 3% sequentially. CPC on Google member sites rose 2% YoY and fell 11% sequentially.

Operating expenses as a percentage of revenue jumped 2% to 37% in the quarter, along with operating expenses other than cost of revenue from $5,344, for the three month end March 2014, to $6,455 for the same three months in 2015.

Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google, focused on the upside. "We continue to see great momentum in our mobile advertising business and opportunities with brand advertisers," he said in a prepared statement.

eMarketer estimates that Google lost mobile ad market share in 2014, falling to 38.2% from 46% in 2013. Facebook's share of the $42.63 billion worldwide mobile ad market reached 17.4% in 2014, according to eMarketer, up from 16.4% in 2013. 

"It is becoming clear what a threat mobile has become for Google," Dave Ragals, global managing director, search at IgnitionOne. He agrees the shift from desktop to mobile is not new, but Google continue to see a negative influence caused by fragmentation. "This includes their algorithm changes around mobile-friendly sites, announced well in advance, which is a departure for the company, to encourage site owner behaviors and shape a mobile landscape to better suit Google’s needs."

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