Thursday, March 6, 2008

Role reversal: Google shares taking a pounding

So apparently Google's share price has dropped 40% since November 07. If you've missed this happening, you're not alone, it seems to have slipped under the radar given the hype around the MS/Yahoo potential merger and Jimmy Wales sex life.

This dive represents a shareholder value loss of more than $93b USD. John Battelle, author of The Search and noted industry expert, has stated that right now is Google's first rough patch and "It will test the character of the company."

Lets not forget however that it's not all bad news for Google.

Last year the company made 4.2b in profits.

In January 08 it increased its lead on Yahoo, ask and MSN in the US search market in terms of % of total searches by 9%, however it has been claimed user clicked on 7% less ads. (there is substantial debate about the validity of these claims though)

I think what this investor caution does show is there is more pressure now for Google to prove not only its leadership beyond it's core business, search, but also it's ability to monetise smarter than their competitors.

Are they up for it? Well, only a fool would bet against them.

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