5 Key Quotes from Google on the Internet Industry

by: David Jackson

Here are five key quotes from Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) conference call:

1. Revenue growth

We had another strong quarter, with gross revenue increasing 39% over Q2 of 2007 to $5.4 billion. Google.com performed well, up 42% year over year to $3.5 billion, driven by strong traffic growth and to a lesser extent, monetization. AdSense revenue grew 22% over Q2 of 2007 but was down slightly on a sequential basis, reflecting a continued focus on delivering high quality traffic to our advertisers and typical Q2 seasonality.

2. International growth

International revenue accounted for 52% of revenue, or $2.8 billion. The UK was solid with revenues of $774 million, up 29% year over year but down 4% sequentially, reflecting typical Q2 seasonality and negligible FX impact. Revenue growth in EMEA was strong, primarily driven by strong performance in Benelux, Ireland and parts of Western Continental Europe including Germany, France, Spain and Italy, fueled by relatively strong performance in automotive and consumer packaged goods. Asia and Latin America continue to show impressive growth as well with Japan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and China being notably strong in Q2.

3. Google's relationship with Yahoo!

The internet is a dynamic and competitive environment and that is due to the openness that has been a hallmark since its inception. Our non-exclusive commercial agreement – that is very important, by the way, non-exclusive -- with Yahoo! will maintain and expand that competition. It creates new efficiencies that will benefit consumers, advertisers and publishers as well as protecting privacy and spurring innovation.

Google and Yahoo! will remain fierce competitors. This continuing competition will help fuel innovation that is good for the internet, users; good for the internet, good for the economy. Openness, interoperability and competition are central to our culture at Google, central to the vibrancy of the internet and central to the growth of a free market.

We believe that the non-exclusive ad deal – remember it is not a search deal -- that was done with Yahoo! is a win for the industry primarily because it allows Yahoo! to remain independent, which we believe is very pro-competitive.

4. Impact of a slowing economy

When we look across sectors of the United States we see that on a year-on-year basis, the query growth has been positive in every sector we track, even including those sectors that are generally economically sensitive such as automotive, real estate and travel. We also see that year-on-year revenue growth is positive in every major sector expect for real estate, and even that one is only down by a small amount.

When we look at the sub-sectors, we see some interesting patterns. The weaker components are just the ones you would expect to see based on the macroeconomic climate: auto financing, home financing and real estate agencies. These are the sorts of queries you would expect to see when auto or real estate transactions have already taken place, and we see, as we all know, fewer transactions are taking place in those sectors.

It is interesting to note that year-over-year automotive ad spend is up, even though the growth in auto financing is down. I interpret this as saying that auto advertisers are willing to spend on clicks, but the weakness is on the consumer side. However, I should emphasis this behavior is not universal. Spending seems to be holding up pretty well in other consumer durable categories such as home appliances and home furnishings.

When we turn to Europe, we see a similar pattern. In the UK we had across-the-board year-to-year growth in both revenue and queries, with the sole expectation being real estate. Continental Europe grew in both queries and revenue in every major vertical.

So to summarize, when we look across verticals we see that consumers are being cautious in their online spending patterns just as they are in their offline spending. Despite the weakness in the economy, advertising revenue seems to be holding up remarkably well in most sectors. I think this illustrates the point that we have made several times. During periods of slow economic growth, the last thing an advertiser wants to cut is its spending on search-based advertising.

5. Google Apps

I should mention first of all that our enterprise business with respect to Apps has been growing very rapidly. There are now more than half a million businesses that are using Google Apps for their day-to-day productivity, and that is just a tremendous number. Just to give you color on what some of these businesses include, in this past quarter Valeo, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers now has 32,000 users using Google Apps, including of course Gmail, Calendar, Docs and so forth. The Government of Washington D.C. has 38,000 users on Google Apps. General Electric has adopted the security side of the Apps products which was formerly Postini, and that’s running on over 300,000 users. Just to call out a few other highlights, the Telegraph Media Group and Sanmina both also adopted Google Apps.

The quotes are taken from the Google transcript which was published on Seeking Alpha a few hours after the call ended. If you think I missed something more important than these quotes, feel free to copy and paste your quote from the full transcript and leave as a comment below.

Also of interest -- here are all the transcripts from the Internet sector.