Google Doubles Revenue, Extends Focus On Big Advertisers

Ad growth and increased traffic led Google to report revenues for the first quarter nearly double those of the same time last year.

Revenue in the quarter nearly doubled, up 93 percent over the year before period to $1.256 billion. Net income for the quarter more than quadrupled, increasing 477 percent over the first quarter of 2004 to $369 million, or $1.29 per share.

Google-owned sites generated $657 million, or 52 percent of total revenues, up 116 percent over Q1 2004. AdSense network sites accounted for $584 million, or 47 percent of total revenues, a 75 percent increase over the network revenues generated in the same quarter last year.

The company has enjoyed increased advertising from larger Fortune 1000 advertisers, a target market it intends to pursue further this year. Part of that growth resulted from the availability of the AdWords API released in January. It allows large advertisers and agencies to access Google’s system and more directly perform automated tasks.

Google has begun to service large advertisers with teams of sales, tech support, and what it calls “maximizers” — employees who work with large advertisers to ensure the creative they use on their ads is effective.

“We’re in the process of making changes to our direct sales force to even more fully cover the Fortune 1000,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman and CEO. “It has become clear that is a vastly under-covered space.”

Google co-founder Larry Page also said the company plans to increase its brand advertising efforts, rolling out its graphical image ads more broadly and exploring other brand advertising products in the coming year. Both Google and Yahoo launched video search products in January, which can potentially be monetized with video ads.

Deflecting a question about click fraud, co-founder Sergey Brin implied technology from Web analytics company Urchin, which the Google acquired in March, could be used to develop new conversion-based cost structures for advertisers.

“We’re moving to a world where we’re able to show very clear value to advertisers,” Brin said.

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