Mobile search was a primary growth driver for Google in Q3 as its advertising revenues increased 17% to $33.9bn and click volume soared by a similar amount.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that mobile search along with YouTube and Cloud had paved the way for a successful period for the tech giant as group revenues climbed 20% from a year ago to $40.5bn.
Search is grouped with Gmail, Play Store, Shopping, Maps and YouTube as ad revenue properties, and overall returns rose 19% to $28.6bn for the three months to the end of September 2019.
Growth in click volume was healthy again, advancing 18% year-over-year, though the increase from the previous quarter was only 1%.
Click growth has tapered off slightly during the last year due to a slowdown in aggregated cost-per-click (CPC), a trend that also extended to YouTube.
CFO Ruth Porat said that the deceleration this year is due in part to the more stringent rules that were implemented for videos in 2018, which made it more difficult for channels to feature ads and be monetised following the high-profile brand safety scandal.
She added: “That does continue to reflect the changes that we made in early 2018 to really improve the user and advertiser experience.”
CPCs did rise 3% from Q2, the first increase in more than 18 months, as did network impressions, which saw an uptick of 12% from a year ago.
Pichai also noted that AI and machine learning are now being employed extensively by advertisers as more than 50% of search spend is optimised by full auto bidding.