January 27, 2009

Google's second trick only small when compared to search ads

A small, relatively, thing I noted in Google's Q4 report was that revenue categorized as Licensing and other revenues was $667 million dollars for 2008 and $196 million for Q4 (compared with $181 million for entire 2007). I haven't dived into what Licensing and other revenue actually is, but I'd guess it mainly is licensing of the search technology and Google Apps.

As Steve Ballmer repeatedly have said that Google is a one-trick pony, today the one-trick thing seems to primarily be relevant in the context of Google's outstanding search advertising business.

To put a run-rate of shy of $800 million in perspective:

* It is about the size of MySpace revenue (and 80 % of Fox Interactive Media's)
* Likely double the size of Facebook's revenue
* It is 25 % more than Skype (which, in my mind, is widely misunderstood as a 'failure')
* It is 2.5x the revenue of Omniture
* It is about 9 % of Yahoo's total revenues.
* It is about 20 % of Microsoft's Online Services Division

In other words, most companies would get a major boost from something that didn't really make a lot of difference to Google in 2008.

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