Google shares are getting hit early Tuesday after comScore's report on a startlingly big decline in paid click growth. Google's January paid click growth was flat on a year-over-year basis, down 7% from December and down 12% from the fourth quarter. UBS cut its earnings estimate and price target in response.The comScore data provide further evidence that Google is not recession proof and it looks like somebody got wind of this report as GOOG shares were notably weak Monday in an up tape. This decline probably represents an opportunity for believers in Google's long-term story but the short-term pain isn't likely over yet.
I heard Leo Laporte mention on Twit 132 that Google is currently experimenting with other types of ads on SERPs. Google recently starting using universal search, where photos and videos started to show up within normal search results. This was changing the behavior of users causing them to become more accustom to photos and videos and in effect starting to ignore the text ads on these pages.
If I find the link to that original story I will post.