For the second month in a row, comScore says that Google AdWords spending is slowing down and its advertising growth is low, especially compared to a year ago.
Clicks on Google’s sponsored links — four-line ads that mostly run alongside search results — rose 3 percent to 515 million in February from a year earlier, researcher ComScore Inc. said today. In January, Google had no growth, after a 25 percent increase in the fourth quarter.
Ad clicks fell 3 percent in February from the previous month, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore said. In January, clicks fell 7.5 percent to 532 million from the previous month.
Comscore issued a similar report at the end of last month, which resulted in a downward spiral of Google stock value, then Magid Abraham of comScore issued an explanation on the comScore blog.
Seems that Google’s own quality efforts may be effecting the ad spend growth :
As we looked deeper into our data, we found much stronger support for what some industry observers have hypothesized regarding the impact of Googles own quality efforts on the negative trends in their paid clicks. Because of this, we felt we needed to set the record straight on two counts:
- Our data did not support the conclusions that were being incorrectly attributed to us
- The number of paid search clicks is only one driver of revenue for a search engine. Pricing is also a critical component and, as later confirmed publicly by Google executives, one that turns out to be closely related to Googles quality efforts, since these efforts affect minimum bid prices and overall supply / demand.
Sure some of this has to do with Google quality control, but mixed with an American economic crisis, devaluation of the dollar, oil being traded on the euro and big spenders like real estate and mortgage advertisers folding, Yahoo and Ask laying off percentages of their workforce; one has to wonder if these numbers reflect not only internal Google advertising changes, but also reflect the economy and global spending as a whole.
Guess we will all have to wait for the Google Q1 earnings reports.