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Monetization on mobile queries right now is a significant fraction of desktop,” Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, said.

 

He said Google was exploring new ways to make more money as people increasingly used phones and tablets in addition to and instead of desktop computers, and said it was “uniquely positioned to get through that transition and to profit from it.”

 

I am not worried about this in terms of our business at all,” Mr. Page said. “I think it’s an opportunity for us.”

 

The company said it was on track to generate $8 billion in the coming year from mobile, including ads and sales of apps. It did not break down how much of that would come from advertising, but said it was a large majority.

 

Also, the decline in click prices was not just because of mobile ads, said Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, but also because of other factors including currency headwinds, the balance between developed and emerging markets, the number of ads shown on Google sites versus other sites in its network and changes in types of ads.

 

But the explosion of mobile users and ads has presented difficulties. Google has 55 percent market share in mobile ad revenue, and 95 percent for mobile search ads, according to eMarketer, the digital advertising research firm. Yet the ads cost less in large part because advertisers are not yet convinced that they are as effective as desktop ads.

 

People click on ads on smartphones more often than they do on desktop computers, 5.1 percent compared with 2.4 percent of the time, according to Marin Software, which makes technology for advertisers to use to buy ads on Google, Bing, Facebook and other sites.

 

That is because ads take up more space on cellphone screens and are more likely to answer the kinds of immediate questions asked on mobile devices, like “Where is a bar near the ballpark?” said Gagan Kanwar, director of research and partnerships at Marin.

 

People make purchases after clicking on ads 4 percent of the time on desktops and just 2 percent of the time on phones, so mobile ads are worth less, he said.


 

Still, Mr. Kanwar said, that is changing as Google and other companies invent new kinds of ads, like ones that let people click a phone number in a mobile ad to call a business, and new ways to track whether an ad leads to a purchase, like Google Offers with Groupon-style coupons.

 

The gap is starting to close, so you’re going to see more demand from advertisers to be on these devices, so we do think this is a short-term thing,” he said.

 

Another mobile challenge for Google is that a majority of mobile searches happen on Apple devices, for which Google pays Apple a share of revenue, said Jordan Rohan, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus.

 

The company reported third-quarter revenue of $14.1 billion, an increase of 45 percent over the year-ago quarter. Net revenue, which excludes payments to the company’s advertising partners, was $11.33 billion, up from $7.51 billion.

 

But net income sank to $2.18 billion, or $6.53 a share, from $2.73 billion, or $8.33 a share.

 

The miss on expectations was more surprising because Google shares had an outstanding quarter, increasing 35 percent over the last three months, in part because of strong performance in new businesses like display advertising as well as stumbles by competitors like Facebook.

 

Long the leader in search advertising, with 75 percent market share, Google has now become the leader in the other forms of digital advertising, display and mobile, according to eMarketer.

 

Before the recent rally, the shares had been held back by concerns over antitrust and privacy investigations by regulators in the United States and elsewhere as well as concerns about Motorola and the potential of new Google businesses in the face of slowing search advertising growth.

 

This was the first quarter that Motorola Mobility was included in full-quarter earnings, and its performance weighed on Google’s results. It lost $527 million in the quarter, despite deep cuts and layoffs.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is preparing a staff recommendation to sue Google over antitrust violations before the end of the year. This week, European

regulators warned Google that it faced penalties if it did not amend its privacy policy.

 

Google blamed R. R. Donnelley & Sons, the publisher, for the early release of its earnings. Donnelley said it was investigating the error.

 

Google was trigger-happy online on Thursday. The earnings release arrived while reporters were gathered at a Google news event to introduce its new laptop running the Chrome operating system. As reporters began whispering and running out of the presentation, Google announced that it had also erroneously published the Web site announcing the new laptops, before the scheduled release time.

 

Later in the day, YouTube went down for some users — just before Google was set to broadcast its earnings call on YouTube.

 

The earnings release was such an early draft that it said “pending Larry quote” at the top where Google planned to insert a quote from Mr. Page. A parody Twitter account, @PendingLarry, immediately appeared, with posts like, “I mean ... it’s 4:30 somewhere in the world, right?”

 


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