Google ad clicks slump

Google’s search numbers are going up, but its advertising clicks are going down, report warns.

Google ad clicks slump

Figures from research company ComScore claim that the number of people clicking on Google adverts fell by 0.3% in January, ending a prolonged period of growth which saw clicks increase 13% in December, 27% in November, and 37% in October.

The figures clearly alarmed investors as Google shares dropped 4.6% on the back of the report, hitting an 11-month low which has seen the company’s value drop by over a third since it peaked in November 2007.

The ComScore report did have good news for Google, however, as it revealed that searches had actually increased by around 40%, though its inability to convert those searches into advertising clicks is beginning to worry analysts.

“Taken together, we believe these signs paint a clearer picture of the changing environment,” says analyst Henry Blodget on his blog. “It’s always possible that this will be a ‘blip,’ but these cycles usually take years, not months, to play out. It’s smart to expect tougher times ahead.”

Blodget goes onto suggest that Google is being hit by the slump in US consumer spending that analysts initially hoped it would ride out.

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