Today is a big day for search giant Google. The company announced significant revenue gains for December 2010, as well as new management.
Google reported revenue of $8.44 billion for the quarter ending December 31, demonstrating an annual increase of 26 percent. This is due in large part to funds generated by Google sites (which may pose an interesting development in light of recent reports that Google favors its own product sites in search rankings). Partner sites also generated significant revenues, totaling $2.5 billion – a 22 percent increase over Q4 2009.
Partners who invested in paid search campaigns likely saw a payoff , with Google sites and sites of AdSense partners garnering 18 percent annual increases and 11 percent quarter-over-quarter gains. This seems to make sense in light of recent news that Google is still consumers’ preferred search engine.
While this is big news for Google, it is perhaps overshadowed by the company’s announcement that CEO Eric Schmidt will step down to the role of executive chairman, and Google co-founder Larry Page will take over as chief executive officer.
In a Google blog post, Eric Schmidt says this is a step to "simplify the management structure" of the company. He also made a widely circulated Tweet about the change, saying, "Day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Schmidt explains that Page will lead product development and technology strategies for Google beginning April 4.
For his part, Schmidt says he will be concentrating on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships. He will remain an internal advisor to Page and provide external corporate outreach.
Perhaps one of Schmidt’s first orders of business as executive chairman was sharing some insight on Google’s 2011 mobile strategy. He wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review this month that gained wide circulation today; in it, he indicated that geolocation and the mobile market will be Google’s focus in 2011.