Google Inc.'s first-quarter 2005 net income jumped nearly 600 percent to $369.2 million, or 29.4 percent of its $1.26 billion revenue for the period, according to results released yesterday.
The performance dwarfed the Mountain View, CA-based search engine's first-quarter 2004 net income of $64 million, or 9.8 percent of total revenue for that period. Its first-quarter 2005 revenue also nearly doubled from $651.6 million in the year-ago time.
“This was a very strong quarter for Google … we have been able to take full advantage of the growth in online advertising,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement yesterday. “In addition, we performed well across our operations with our engineering and product teams delivering dozens of new products and features for Google users around the world.”
The company April 20 launched its “My Search History” service at http://labs.google.com with password and personal login access. Users now can see their past search requests and results, leading to a paper trail that may not just help but also hurt.
Google's record growth is validation of its business: text-based ads that are related to online searches made through keywords entered on the Google site or its partners. Google earns a fee each time a visitor clicks on the ad links on its pages or those of its partners.
The Google performance follows a similar surge at search rival Yahoo Inc. Observers and analysts were stunned April 19 when Yahoo said net income for the first quarter of 2005 more than doubled to $205 million from $101 million in the year-ago period. Revenue for the recent quarter was up 55 percent to $1.17 billion versus the year-ago timeframe.
Like Google, Yahoo has benefited from the increased advertiser interest in text ads for online searches as well as rich media advertising. The company claimed that 13 percent of time spent online on its Yahoo brand is on search, e-mail and other services.
Yahoo said 372 million individuals visited its network of sites in the first quarter of 2005, a one-third increase from the year-ago period.
According to Nielsen//NetRatings data for March, Google Search accounted for 2.1 billion searches, Yahoo Search 907.7 million searches and MSN Search 592.1 million. The share of searches was 47 percent, 21 percent and 14 percent, respectively, for Google, Yahoo Search and MSN Search.