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Google Alphabet Q4 Revenues up 22pct to $39.3 billion

     
12:17 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Alphabet's Q4 revenues came in at $39.3 billion, which is up 22% y-o-y, with year end revenues of $136.8 billion, up 23% y-o-y.

Its traffic acquisition costs were up to $7.44 billion in the quarter, compared to $6.58 billion n Q3, with ad revenue growing 20% y-o-y to $32.6 billion.

Cost per click for Google sites dropped 29% y-o-y, and 9% down on the previous quarter, which must be a concern for the short to longer term.

Its "Other Bets" showed a Q4 revenue of $154 million, with operating losses climbing to $1.3 billion, up from $723 million in Q3.

[abc.xyz...]
3:32 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Paid clicks on Google properties up 66% y-o-y

The "optimization" of the SERPs is coming along very well.
6:24 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Quite frankly I'm shocked at this. How on earth could they have done this?
11:08 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Handful of emotions to react to this news.. happy for Alphabet shareholders, Empathy for every website that relies on search traffic (all of them), beyond irritated that no-one in Washington DC is paying attention to any of this. Bewildered that no-one wants to talk about the elephant in the room...

Their PPC revenue will swing back and forth .. because all of the camps are getting tired of being ripped off. You have a few camps..

One camp is the well established business that is getting killed on profit margins due to online competition so they have to do more business at lower margins. And people price shop on Google as we all know.. If they want to be successful online they need more volume at lower margins in order to survive. So they turn to PPC (or another ad G product).

Another camp is the new business with the brilliant idea and possibly low budget.. maybe they can't afford content (I'll skip the content is king mantra for now). So they turn to PPC.

Another camp is the mega corp with millions to spend and they do not care that half of their spend goes to G for bot clicks. They will spend double to get a portion of decent PPC traffic.

Since Google is basically an out of control monopoly, there is no search competition. Cross linking (reciprocal linking with like-minded targets) with other sites has been prohibited (illegally) by Google so that option is out.

So what's left? Not much.. Search competition is just one click away but the masses do not get that.. they have been "indoctrinated" into the world of Google. I would have said brainwashed but that's too much. The public simply does not see an alternative.

So now we get to the good part.. You have one search engine that controls the web and its very difficult to rank for even fortune 500's, unless they have very valuable domain names or massive marketing/content budgets.

Enter pay per click advertising.. its the only solution left to any business that wants to be on page 1 of their search terms. Add we all know that a very good bit of those clicks are bots ignored by Google and waalaah, $39.3 BILLION in a single quarter of revenue. Not in a year or a few years.. All of their products' revenues are going to swing back and forth as frustrated traffic buyers try different features offered by G, or they will just try social media.

But they will be back! ..as they notice that a large portion of their social media spend is also unchecked bots - they go back to search.

I won't be surprised to see these fiscal reports continue to see-saw as Google continues to spend quite a bit on those slick new television ads that you are seeing more and more of these days. Why are they advertising more than they did in the past? Because now people are paying attention to what has been happening across the pond with EU authorities fining for what are "low hanging fruit" violations.

Surely Google understands how fake traffic inflates their numbers. Google knows the dark web. But they look the other way because the US FTC isn't paying attention. EU authorities are paying attention - that's a start.

This Libertarian doesn't want government to get involved unless absolutely necessary. In this case, its been necessary since 2010.

In the meantime, I'll go take another call from a client whining about their poor returns on well intended Google PPC's. ..and the cycle will continue until either the FTC intervenes or private comes up with enough $ to start up a viable alternative.

[edited by: cnvi at 12:10 am (utc) on Feb 6, 2019]

11:18 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I don't believe you mentioned that with increased "shopping ads", Google has essentially become the world's largest affiliate too. I call it one big filter. They get a cut of pretty much everything. That is the web, as it stands today.
11:30 pm on Feb 5, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Yes MrSavage I am referring to the whole lot including "shopping ads". Yes its one huge unchecked filter.
12:01 pm on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how many poeple dump their money into googles back while they don´t get a penny back. I think 90% of smaller shops don´t have a statistic about their ROI. Else i can´t explain this groth.
5:51 pm on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So, would it be great for them to close the Adsense program? This is the way, no longer need to share the ad revenue with anyone. Seriously! This is a possibility.
10:55 pm on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The "optimization" of the SERPs is coming along very well.

We're going to have this discussion again, are we?

So, would it be great for them to close the Adsense program? This is the way, no longer need to share the ad revenue with anyone. Seriously! This is a possibility.

Your "Seriously!" is throwing me off, but I really hope you're being sarcastic.
11:06 pm on Feb 6, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Regarding CTR... what was the average CTR way back in the day when AOL leaked that data, what's the ballpark now? I'd have thought with these impressive year-on-year increases in ad CTR that organic clicks would be close to zero, but obviously they aren't. The main caveat is likely the fact that there are many more billions of searches a day performed now, 5 billion/day last I heard.

Good news for shareholders. Remember when $80 a share seemed a bit toppy...
2:47 pm on Feb 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@robzilla

Sarcastic yes, skeptic not. They do not have to close Adsense. Where else could they display ads like «download pdf converter click here», «You have a virus ...», «joint pains bad food list»?
Google can still make a few more bucks with us.
4:04 pm on Feb 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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“Surely Google understands how fake traffic inflates their numbers. Google knows the dark web. But they look the other way because the US FTC isn't paying attention. EU authorities are paying attention - that's a start.”


Waiting for EU to do something? Honestly?
5:41 pm on Feb 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google can still make a few more bucks with us

"A few bucks", or, to be more precise, $5,613,000,000 in Q4. That's nearly 2 billion dollars per month.
7:02 pm on Feb 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mosxu said "waiting for EU to do something? honestly?"

Mosxu: Google has already been fined by the EU 6.8 billion over Android anti-trust and 50 million over the GDPR among other things. CBS 60 Minutes is the only media in the US that has started to follow this story which is documented in this thread [webmasterworld.com...]

The Google monopoly is completely unchecked by the US FTC and DOJ according to current facts. That's a runaway train (wreck for us website operators/owners).
9:06 pm on Feb 7, 2019 (gmt 0)

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EU never said anything about fake traffic, some fines that do not help webmasters in anyway
1:32 am on Feb 8, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Mosxu, I simply included fake/bot traffic in my explanation to the post above that questioned very smartly, "how could this happen?" - because it is part of the bigger picture.

Companies (large and small) pay big $ for top positions on G and a huge amount of the traffic that accounts for the fake clicks translate into massive revenue for G. G could void it because they have the technology to see what is real and what is fake (or you spend enough like 50k or more a year to have a dedicated acct exec at G to give you credits) .. large business has more pull w G because they spend more.

Its the little guys spending a few hundred or a few thousand here and there that never realize half of the traffic was bots that are being ripped off. G knows this so well they are taking advantage of it in droves. Shareholders are happy.. so G doesn't care because they are making record breaking bank and if the DOJ and the FTC aren't showing any attention, why should they?

IT IS THE biggest elephant in the room OF OUR TIME...

And the fact that only 60 Minutes (and no others I am aware of) have made mention of this is bewildering. Did you see how many news organizations reported these record breaking earnings? NONE.
11:08 pm on Feb 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@cnvi

We spend in many accounts over 50k but never been offered a special deal. Not saying they do not exist but not offered to everyone.

When it comes to fake traffic it is very easy for authorities to find it out but surely they will not investigate. So will never the EU.
12:24 am on Feb 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Mosxu, I did not intend to suggest the EU has fined Google for falsifying their data given to its customers due to fake bots.

It's well known by thousands of fortune 500 CEOs (Yahoo, AOL, Nike, Reebok, Yelp - huge list) that Google is the biggest online criminal of this millennium breaking hundreds of laws - the biggest one being restraint of trade which is a common law doctrine here in the US. So my point above is that ANY investigation (and fine) by the EU is a good start in my opinion. It's bad enough to have crickets chirping in Washington DC. It could take years for this story to unfold.

I've talked to over a dozen attorneys specializing in anti-trust and restraint of trade here in the US and they have all told me that Google is getting away with very bad stuff. None of these attorneys will take the cases on contingency due to the depth of Google's legal pockets. It will take more website owner/operators being educated on this stuff before any action will ever occur (such as a class action lawsuit).

It would be nice if this topic was added to future Pubcon agendas but that's another topic for another forum.
10:12 am on Feb 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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thousands of fortune 500 CEOs

Heh :-D
11:46 am on Feb 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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22% growth is not so much when you are tiny and growing.
But when you are already very large it is a very big growth rate!
1:16 pm on Feb 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It is, but it's not all that surprising. Search is thriving, YouTube is thriving, Android is thriving, the Cloud Platform is thriving... anyone who thinks it's all coming from the SERPs is sadly mistaken.
1:07 am on Feb 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Geez, I wonder why or how YouTube is thriving.
11:34 pm on Feb 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Robzilla: every CEO that advertises on G knows what their spend and ROI is. It’s easy math. But you knew that. ;)
9:52 am on Feb 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Robzilla: every CEO that advertises on G knows what their spend and ROI is. It’s easy math. But you knew that. ;)

My 'issue' was with the math of "thousands of CEOs" fitting into a list of 500 corporations ;-)
1:10 pm on Feb 13, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was curious about the math, sadly a google search returns more "agenda" then "answer" to the question: How many Fortune 500 CEOs are there?
4:16 pm on Feb 15, 2019 (gmt 0)

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lets not get granular here .. fortune 100-500.. there are hundreds of them.
 

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