The Week We Searched For- April 9-13, 2012
Google Q1 2012 Report- Google announced its Q1 2012 report  on Thursday, reporting a 24% revenue increase year-over-year. “We had a very strong quarter,” stated CEO Larry Page to the press and analysts, “Since becoming CEO again, I have pushed hard to focus on the big bets.”
Other interesting stats addressed in Thursday’s conference include:
- Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of Network members, increased approximately 39% over the first quarter of 2011 and increased approximately 7% over the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Cost-Per-Click – Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of Network members, decreased approximately 12% over the first quarter of 2011 and decreased approximately 6% over the fourth quarter of 2011.
- TAC – Traffic acquisition costs, the portion of revenues shared with Google’s partners, increased to $2.51 billion in the first quarter of 2012, compared to TAC of $2.04 billion in the first quarter of 2011. TAC as a percentage of advertising revenues was 25% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 25% in the first quarter of 2011. The majority of TAC is related to amounts ultimately paid to Network members, which totaled $2.04 billion in the first quarter of 2012. TAC also includes amounts ultimately paid to certain distribution partners and others who direct traffic to Google’s website, which totaled $468 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Google’s board of directors also proposed a new class of stock — a two-for-one stock split. In the postscript of the 2012 Founder’s Letter , David Drummond, Chief Legal Officer at Google explains the new stock structure, stating, “Each holder of a share of Class A or Class B common stock will receive one share of the new non-voting Class C capital stock. So after the dividend, a stockholder who currently owns one Class A share with a single vote will continue to own that share plus one Class C share without a vote.” The new structure would enables Google’s founders to maintain control over decision-making and its long-term business development strategy.
Facebook buys Instagram- Facebook announced  its acquisition of the mobile photo sharing app Instagram on Monday for $1 billion. Instagram will remain an independent service from Facebook, but the deal will enable the two to more closely integrate their services. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of the quarter.
comScore March 2012 Search Engine Rankings report- comScore released  its U.S. search market share statistics for March 2012 on Thursday. The results show that Yahoo! was the only search engine in March to see a decrease in search queries. While Google, Bing, AOL, and Ask all saw between a 4 and 7% increase in search queries, Yahoo! saw a 5% decrease.
Google+ Facelift- Google has announced  a redesign of its social network Google Plus. Google+, not yet one year old, now has a simpler, cleaner look after the design refresh, one which many are saying bears a high resemblance to Facebook’s design. As part of the redesign, Google has moved the widgets—Photos, Circles, Hangouts, Profile, etc.—from their static positions in the top banner to a ribbon on the left hand side where users can move and organize them. As Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President, explains in a blog post announcing the change:
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:
- You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
- You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
- You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”
- Is Google+’s redesign geared towards apps? That’s the question Mike Isaac asks in his new article Google+ Refresh: Just Like Facebook, It’s All About the Apps  on Wired.com