"Across search, display, YouTube and more, our top 25 advertisers are now spending over $150 million per year," Arora said during his presentation on the analysts call. "Our investments in mobile and shopping passed the holiday season with flying colors. Our vision is for search to understand exactly what you mean and give you want you want on all devices."
Arora pointed to higher search volumes and a greater proportion of queries with commercial intent across areas such as retail, computers and electronics during Black Friday and the increasingly significant Cyber Monday. Also, we launched a series of features to make online shopping more stress-free and more fun, like 360-degree toy image view and integrating retailers' promotions into our shopping product."
Among Google's Q4 highlights, revenues were up 36% compared to the previous year's results, and 8% gains over Q3 2012. Secondly, Google surpassed $50 billion in revenues for the first time last year – "not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half," as CEO Larry Page said in his prepared remarks.
Paid Click growth exceeded Jefferies & Co.'s expectations as the former segment grew a solid 24% year-over-year (Jefferies called for 23% gains). "We think Paid Click growth is the most important indicator of a healthy advertising ecosystem going forward, as a larger [percentage] of Google ads are monetized on a non-CPC basis," said Jefferies' analyst Brian Pitz in a research note following Google's earnings release.
For the most part, Arora and Page sought to highlight the emphasis on shopping and mobile, though the refrain "early stages" was repeated heavily.
Google now controls a 56.6% share of all US mobile ad revenues, eMarketer estimates, compared to the next highest competitor, Facebook, at 8.8%.
Most of Google's mobile ad revenues come from search, and eMarketer expects Google will maintain a 93.3% share of the overall $1.99 billion U.S. mobile search ad market. Spending on mobile search ads in the U.S. in total is expected to jump 55% to $3.6 billion next year-of which Google is expected to earn a 92.4% share.
"Mobile will increase offline transactions from online ads," Page told analysts during the Q&A session, when asked about efforts to bridge the two sides. "We’re very excited , but we’re in the early stages of making that work for users and consumer."