Google’s Revenue Numbers: The Anomaly Called United Kingdom

February 12, 2013 7:23 am

We were analyzing Google’s Q4 2012 earnings slides, and spotted a very simple anomaly with one country: United Kingdom. These numbers are picked up from Google’s Q4 2012 earnings slides – Slide 11, ‘Revenue By Geography’ – Google lists down United Kingdom as its second largest country by revenue, with $1.305 billion out of a total of $12.905 billion – in percentage terms, UK contributes to 10.11 percentage of total Google Revenue. Where is the anomaly?

Internet users in the UK made roughly 2 billion searches in April 2012 – based on Google’s search market share and overall search volume in the UK (Source)- and Google handles some 100 billion searches per month (Source). While we know we cannot extrapolate that number to Q4, as a big generalization, in the interests of just understanding the scale, we can. Which brings us to this result: UK contributes to just 2 percent of the overall search volume for Google.

So that brings us to the anomaly called UK: With just 2 percent of search volume, UK contributes to 10 percent of Google’s revenues.

Just to be sure we are not stating something obvious, we did confirm that the per capita income of people in the UK is not an outlier – it is indeed very much comparable to other developed nations (Source)

Are advertisers finding something special about Google in the Uk that many others have missed out? What could be the reasons for this anomaly?

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