Google's search chief leaving; shares sell off day after post-earnings gains

Feb. 03, 2016 2:45 PM ETAlphabet Inc. (GOOG)GOOG, GOOGLBy: Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor32 Comments
  • Amit Singhal, Alphabet/Google's (GOOG -3.7%, GOOGL -3.6%) SVP of search and a long-time employee, is retiring. He'll be replaced by John Giannandrea, an engineering VP in charge of Google's A.I./machine learning efforts. Giannandrea's background is noteworthy in light of the huge machine learning investments Google is making for both its core search engine and Google Now.
  • Though not the most headline-grabbing part of Google's empire anymore, search remains (by far) the company's biggest profit creator. Improving mobile search monetization and Google Shopping search ad growth had (along with YouTube's ad growth) much to do with Google's 31% Y/Y Q4 paid click growth.
  • Separately, YouTube has announced its Red subscription service (combines ad-free YouTube with a music subscription service) will launch four original series' on Feb. 10, including one from YouTube star PewDiePie. Google has suggested it will try to provide exclusive content for Red without competing head-on with the likes of Netflix and Amazon for premium Hollywood material.
  • Also noteworthy: Google has removed an ad-blocking plugin that works with Samsung's Android browser from the Play Store. Apple began allowing Mobile Safari ad-blockers on iOS last September via iOS 9; download activity has moderated following an initial surge.
  • After rallying yesterday in the wake of Google's Q4 beat, shares are now trading below where they did prior to the Q4 report; Apple is once more has the world's biggest market cap. The Nasdaq is down 0.5%.

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