Citi on the continuing deceleration in paid-clicks at Google (GOOG). What’s causing it?
1. Google’s ongoing efforts to improve both lead quality for advertisers and the user experience for searches. 2. A macroeconomic dampening of commercial queries by searchers.
Why does it matter?
We are assuming approximately 16% Y/Y paid clicks growth for GOOD in Q1 — So IF the comScore data is accurate AND holds for Q1, AND if it is representative of Google’s GLOBAL trends — not just U.S. — then it could imply risk to Q1 estimates.
OK, that sounds scary, but don’t worry, because…
The disconnect is that this type of step-function deceleration should show up as a material fall-off in leads to Search Engine Marketers and channel checks remain generally positive.
See Also: Google’s March Paid Clicks Awful (Again)
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