In a conference call with investors Thursday afternoon, Google executives discussed the company’s progress and revenue strategy. Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette pointed to its maps, mobile ad serving and new Google Wallet mobile payments as “all the pieces of the puzzle.”
Google is aggressively pursuing the local advertising market, both among national companies with many local presences (such as retailers), and local small businesses, said Susan Wojcicki, senior vice president of advertising.
For national advertisers, the company is building tools to target one AdWords campaign to many specific locations, she said. For local businesses, it released Google Boost, which enables businesses to sign up quickly and simply run ads tied to their listing in Google’s places directory.
Google’s mobile operating system Android “is really on a tear,” Google CEO Larry Page said, with 550,000 new Android devices activated on average every day.
Wojcicki said more than 135 million Android devices have been activated in total, and more than 400 types of Android-powered devices are available globally. The Android Market has 250,000 apps, and has seen 6 billion downloads, she said.
Mobile display advertising is also booming. Traffic across Google’s AdMob mobile ad network increased 3.5 times over the past year, Wojcicki said.
Google is investing heavily in “click to call” mobile ads for local businesses, she said. Instead of opening a website, those ads dial the business’ phone number. That’s a more-concrete and valuable sales lead for most businesses than just a website visit.
Page confirmed that over 10 million people have joined the Google+ social network in the less than two weeks since it entered a limited trial phase. He said more than 1 billion items are being “shared and received” in a single day.
Google+ is speeding up efforts to incorporate news organizations and other business brands.