Google’s advertising business soared nearly 20% in the fourth quarter, the search engine’s parent company Alphabet Inc. announced on Monday.
The company’s continued dominance of search—and mobile search in particular—has been crucial to that growth. Google accounted for 96% of all mobile organic search-driven visits during the quarter, according to digital marketing firm Merkle’s “Digital Marketing Report Q4 2018,” which was released last week.
The average cost per click on a Google ad on Google-owned properties fell 29% compared with the same period a year earlier.
The search giant says the number of impressions across Google-owned properties and its ad network rose 7%, and the cost per impression on those properties rose 5%.
One small, but growing area for Google is its Showcase Shopping ad format, which look similar to Product Listing Ads but take a consumer to a Google-hosted store page. According to the Merkle report, those ads accounted for 5.7% of phone Shopping ad clicks during the quarter, up 5.1% from the previous quarter and 1.6% during the same time a year earlier.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, Alphabet reported:
- Advertising revenue of $32.635 billion, up 19.9% from $27.227 billion a year earlier.
- Google-owned sites, such as its search engine and YouTube, generated $27.022 billion in revenue, up 21.5% from $22.237 billion.
- Net income of $8.948 billion, up from a $3.020 billion loss.
- Google’s traffic acquisition costs, which is what Google pays to websites that host Google ads, rose to $7.436 billion, up 15.3% from $6.450 billion.