Q4 data shows that Google managed to surpass the $50bn revenue milestone for 2012 with an annual turnover of $50.175bn. Google made $14.42bn of this during Q4 itself which represents a massive 36% increase on Q4 data from 2011. Of the $50bn of revenue, Google made an astonishing $10.7bn in profit, representing an increase from the $9.7bn profit they made over 2011. Google was able to have a bumper year despite speculation that the increased use of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones would eat into their advertising generated revenue streams.
Google’s co-founder and CEO, Larry Page was understandably happy with the figures stating that:
“We ended 2012 with a strong quarter. Revenues were up 36% year-on-year, and 8% quarter-on-quarter. And we hit $50bn in revenues for the first time – not a bad achievement in just a decade and a half.”
Google released a full breakdown of their Q4 revenue figures on their investor relations blog, providing an insight into where Google makes its money. Google’s most lucrative sector was revenues generated from Google-owned sites. These made up 67% of the total revenue for Q4 with $8.64bn – an increase of 18% over Q4 2011. Google also generated a significant amount of revenue from its partner sites. These produced revenues of $3.44bn or 27% of all Q4 revenue. The investor relations blog also detailed the performance of individual features and services offered by the company. Google’s Paid Clicks increased by 24% over the 2011 Q4 figures while Cost-Per-Click faced a 6% decrease when compared to the same time span of the previous year.
Google’s announcement of the data was more successful than that of their Q3 data. While Q4 figures exceeded the expectations of analysts, Q3’s fell short. The disappointing Q3 results were even released early causing Google’s share price to take a fall. Contrastingly, the market reacted favourably to the Q4 data which was reflected in an approximate 5% jump to $738.12 following the release.
Despite marked increases in revenue, Google search recently experienced a decline in its market share. According to data gathered by Experian, Google’s UK market share hit an all-time low during the Q4 period of 2012. Google’s share of the search market was lower than 90% for two consecutive months, handling 88.35% of UK web searches during Q4. Both Bing and Yahoo! were responsible for picking up the small amount of slack left by Google.