Google Sees Q1 2009 Revenue Drop: AdSense Publishers Seek Answers

Apr 17, 2009 • 8:41 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics
 

Google announced earnings last night, the earnings reported that revenues were down from the previous quarter. Let me quote the announcement:

Google reported revenues of $5.51 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, an increase of 6% compared to the first quarter of 2008 and a decrease of 3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. Google reports its revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the first quarter of 2009, TAC totaled $1.44 billion, or 27% of advertising revenues.

Profits were slightly up, however, from quarter to quarter:

GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2009 was $1.42 billion as compared to $382 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. Non-GAAP net income in the first quarter of 2009 was $1.64 billion, compared to $1.62 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008.

There are two threads on the discussion of Google's earnings report, one at WebmasterWorld and the other at DigitalPoint Forums.

Another WebmasterWorld thread specifically focuses on the AdSense/publisher side of the coin. The payouts to publishers from quarter to quarter is summarized in the thread:

  • Q109 1.23 billion
  • Q408 1.29 billion
  • Q308 1.33 billion
  • Q208 1.32 billion
  • Q108 1.34 billion
  • Q407 1.31 billion
  • Q307 1.12 billion
  • Q207 1.06 billion
  • Q107 1.05 billion
  • Q406 0.92 billion
  • Q306 0.78 billion

Many suspect that Google is paying publishers less of a percentage, but it is hard to prove that from the earnings report.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums and WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Michael Martinez

04/17/2009 08:26 pm

What they said on the earnings call is that advertisers have reduced their spend across the board. Large advertisers are simply buying fewer ads. Small to mid-size advertisers are capping their bids at lower break points. There is no need for Google change the percentage of payout as the auction system automatically adjusts that anyway.

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