ADOTAS — The seemingly impervious and cool Web swinger may have lost its step. comScore recently reported that Google Inc.’s U.S. paid click performance in January was flat. Strangely, its performance overall for Q4 registered a 25% increase.
The Silicon Alley Insider jumped on the story and got a flash note from Bob Peck at Bear Stearns that said in part, “While this is one data point for domestic google.com only and from one source, which may or may not be accurate, it is a concerning data point and somewhat reflects what we have heard from SEMs — that they were not seeing a high volume of clicks from consumers possibly due to the economic slowdown. Note that Google reported a 30% YoY growth rate in overall (global) paid leads in 4Q07 and comScore reported growth of 25% YoY for domestic google.com paid leads for 4Q. While not an apples-to-apples comparison, we will continue to monitor the comScore numbers for Feb and Mar before definitive conclusions can be drawn.”
Others registered concern too.
Shares of Google slid by 3% in premarket trading today after UBS lowered its price target to $590 from $650 and also lowered its revenue and earnings estimate for this year and 2009, Thomson Financial reports.
UBS released the new target numbers after examining comScore’s data and noting that Google’s sponsored clicks were down 7% month-over-month, flat year-over-year and down 12% quarter-over-quarter, Thomson says.