July 4, 2022

Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 11:09 pm | link | | comment (0)

Well, I have to admit that its very hard to predict the Google earnings for Q2 due to the reasons I list below. I think its really up in the air, they might do very well, but they also might disappoint horribly, since the expectations (the whisper expectations) are very high this time around.

The reasons are:

  1. Google Adwords launched a serious of very complicated updates in Q2:
    • Google increased the number of pages with 3 listings in the north of their SERP (i.e. above the web results), this change leads to more revenue and was covered by Imran Khan from JP Morgan.
    • Google tightened their matching algorithms such that less, more relevant, results are returned. You can read more about that change on the Google Adwords Blog. This change leads to less revenue, however it does lead to improved user quality (kudos to them for doing that).
    • Google adwords now lets you specify a lower target position for your ads. This change will tend to reduce revenue since it will most likely be used by advertisers who are getting excellent performance and thus ranked very high, but they do not want to show up high since that leads to too many clicks, which can consequently exceed their advertising budgets.
    • Google adwords now lets you specify which time of day to activate your ads. This is also for advertisers who want to reduce their spend and only target theirs ads during certain times of day. Some say that this change might lead to more competition during that time of day, and hence higher CPCs and more revenue, so its not really clear in which direction this will go.
  2. Comscore qSearch numbers might be giving a very false signal for Q2 over Q1 of 2006. They are saying that Google (and search overall) experienced double digit growth in search volume (20%+ sequentially). That kind of growth is simply not possible based on historical trends for this time of year, and given the growth slow down Comscore showed for Q3-2005 into Q4-2005, and again for Q4-2005 into Q1-2006. I think Comscore might have updated their stratification formulas around April 2006 and that shifted the whole baseline up a bit (for Q2 vs Q1 that is).

So in summary, the risk is very high this time around, very wide range of expectations for sequential growth. The secret expectations might be too high and folks will get disappointed (by Google that is, I obviously cant comment on Yahoo, but Yahoo is more than search, Google isn’t). That said, I really hope that Google stock price will fall, I am very jealous ;). Their valuation is now $124B, that is half the valuation of Microsoft with all their experience and diversified revenue streams, it simply does not make sense.

— amr

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