Google Inc’s quarterly earnings beat Wall Street forecasts as strong advertising sales on its self-branded websites helped the Internet leader defy the gloom pervading the tech sector.
The results, which sent Google shares up 2.6 percent in after-hours trading, were a relief for investors who had been stunned by a series of dismal reports from Microsoft Corp, Intel Corp and other tech companies.
The search marketing firms report, the largest independent research in the industry, is based on analysis of 92 billion impressions and 600 million clicks across a portion of its customers, which includes some of the world’s largest brands.
“Despite the economic depression and reports of the erosion of other marketing channels in 2008, the index of Efficient Frontier customers included in the Q4 report saw a minimal 8 percent decrease year-over-year, while the retail sector saw a 9 percent uptick in spending year-over-year, an indication of the strength of the search marketing channel,” the report said.
Google’s market share was supported by considerable gains from Google Content, which experienced 63 percent growth in 2008, reflecting the companies continued focus on improving its targeting and monetization across the Ad Sense network.
Yahoo, who increased its market share by 1.9 percent in Q3, added another 0.5 percent in Q4 to finish the year with a 3 percent annual gain and total 20 percent market share. Microsoft Live Search now represents 4.2 percent of total search advertising spend for advertisers in the Efficient Frontier index.