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The Mysterious Disappearance of Google's Click Metric

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In Google's recent end-of-the-year 2019 financial report, the company for the first time disclosed the revenues for YouTube and its Google Cloud unit. However, as Tom Foremski writes via ZDNet, "Google removed key metrics that have been included for more than 15 years: How much money it makes per click (Cost-per-Click (CPC)) and the growth of paid clicks." From the report: These monetization metrics are typically found on the second page of every quarterly earnings release from Google -- which underscores their importance in a 10-page document. Yet they are missing from the latest Google 2019 Q4 report with no explanation. Clicks are at the heart of Google's business, so why are these metrics no longer viable? And why hasn't this change been noticed widely? Why didn't the Wall Street analysts ask about these missing numbers in the financial call the same day as the report was released? What is Google hiding? Google has a rapidly deflating advertising product, sometimes 29% less revenue per click, every quarter, year-on-year, year after year. Take a look at this chart: As long as Google can keep growing the blue line -- growth of paid clicks faster than the red line its ad click deflation -- then it is golden. Every three months Google has to find faster ways of expanding the total number of paid clicks by as much as 66%. How is this a sustainable business model? There is an upper limit to how much more expansion in paid links can be found especially with the shift to mobile platforms and the constraints of the display. And what does this say about the effectiveness of Google's ads? They aren't very good and their value is declining at an astounding and unstoppable pace.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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