Those number surpass analyst estimates that I covered in the preview post a few days back. What will Google have to say about its stellar performance? Stay tuned to the below liveblog and find out.
Remember to use the "Refresh" button on your web browser, as updates to this post will be happening every few minutes as the Q1 conference call moves forward. All times below are in EST. With that, let's roll.
4:30pm -- waiting for Google webcast to start.
4:33pm -- the webcast starts. All the disclaimers are being read. CEO Eric Schmidt takes the reigns and starts talking about how Google is "ecstatic" about its results.
4:36pm -- Schmidt is now talking about how strong Google's core services is, and how well international p;lans are coming along. I would describe Schmidt's intonation here as incredibly happy. He should be. Google's "core business" would be search engine advertising, yes?
4:38pm -- Schmidt is saying that "user experience" is the single biggest goal that Google has to run with. Good point here. Not financials, now growth, not revenues -- but "user experience".
4:40pm -- George Reyes (Google's CFO) is now taking the call over and starts going over the specific numbers from Google's Q1 performance.
4:42pm -- Germany, France and Spain are referenced by Reyes as the top-performing international markets for Google. From what Reyes is saying, both U.S. and international business for Google was very powerful for Q1. Yep.
4:45pm -- Reyes is talking about capex stuff and data center expenditures as well as cash flows and operating/net income. He then turns the call over to Larry Page, Google co-founder.
4:47pm -- Page is talking about how well Google's services are starting to interoperate with each other. He is also talking about personal search being a driving force for Google. He is also talking about how "web-based computing" is changing the way people use their PCs (hint: operating system is not important, I suppose?)
4:49pm -- Page is talking about the "tremendous" improvements that Google has made to YouTube (and it's getting better), and then he switches gears to talk about Google's personalized homepage and all the enhancements that have happened there. He then turns the call over to Sergey Brin, the other Google co-founder
4:51pm -- Brin starts off by talking about YouTube and how many new partners Google has made to have content used at YouTube. BBC, Sundance Channel and even the NBA are now partners. He then quickly switches gears to talk about Google's newest mobile partners.
4:52pm -- Brin is going rapid-fire here. He's now talking about Google's PPA advertising model that it recently unveiled. This is a huge deal I think for Google's ad partners.
4:53pm -- Brin is talking about all the new partners that have been signed for its Google Checkout service. Google Checkout is growing it appears. Now, customers need to start using it more if eBay's PayPal is to be seriously challenged. Brin then starts talking about the DoubleClick purchase.
4:55pm -- Brin is now talking about offline (non-Internet) advertising, citing the partnership with EchoStar (Dish Network) and the Clear Channel Communications deal. Google's moving more and more into the non-Internet world in terms of its ad model. Brin makes a point that non-intrusive advertising (that is targeted) is key. I completely agree -- and that is the reason for Google's success to this point I believe.
4:57pm -- Brin turns the call back over to CEO Scmidt. Schmidt is going over a few more details and how proud he is of the Google management team's response to making Google what it is. After looking over the overall quarterly results for Google, this is very correct. Google is smashing Yahoo! and Microsoft in the online space, and it's getting bigger with its offline advertising initiatives. The analyst Q&A starts...
4:58pm -- the Q&A starts. First question: a Citigroup analyst wants to have the stock-based compensation effect on Google's Q1 numbers explained in detail. Reyes answers that there was a "modest change" in the way stock-based compensation was calculated for this quarter.
5:02pm -- second question: how has Google's search algorithm changed? The answer: quality-based changes are always being tweaked and this did happen in Q1. In fact, Google continues to change its overall score for advertising quality in terms of the scoring of keywords used by all Google advertisers.
5:05pm -- third question: what is the best return-based measurement used by Google management to ensure the best return goes to GOOG shareholders? This is a good question, with Google spidering into so many areas with so many products. Eric answers by stating that Google does not focus on the business this way: in other words, it focuses on end user experience and happiness and how the customer is best served. However, revenue contribution for all Google products is looked at regularly.
5:07pm -- fourth question: what is Google's Toolbar growth and how are Google's users downloading and using the Google Toolbar (this is the bar that goes at the top of your web browser). Jonathan says that toolbar users search far more than non-toolbar users (duh). He really does not give the best answer, but Larry interjects to say that toolbar usage has been around for quite a time and has not changed in a huge way recently.
5:10pm -- fifth question: Google's bigger non-Internet ad deals (Clear Channel, EchoStar) has been bigger and faster than expected. How will ths kind of activity progress in the future? Omid Kordestani answers by stating that Google's overall advertising network takes all its resources (and keeps Google folks very busy) and it finding great interest in all ad areas.
5:12pm -- the sixth question comes in: will Google open up its customer data to third parties (for even more revenue, I suppose)? Larry answers by saying that Google's technological strength here is great, but Google is not ready to go into specifics on anything within this area (yet). This is a humdinger -- if Google starts selling its customer data, could there be mass customer defections from Google?
5:14pm -- the next question: did paid clicks decline from Q4? If so, why? Jonathan answers by saying that Q1 is typically a weaker quarter from a seasonal perspective, although international paid clicks remained constant (are they growing?)
5:16pm -- next question: the UK market is growing at a 40% rate in terms of Internet advertising. What is Google seeing? Omid answers just like Schmidt does: concentration on vertical strategies with ad partners and the end user is the reason behind Google's UK growth.
5:19pm -- next question: can offline advertising partnerships that Google has pursued be used to just try to re-define advertising outside of Google's Internet strategy. Schmidt says that the ad inventory from both the EchoStar and Clear Channel deals were prime -- not secondhand ad inventory. In other words, both of these offline deals are very important ans strategic for Google.
5:21pm -- next question: what percentage of Google search customers are using other Google products (mail, calendar, shopping, maps, etc.)? Good question here. Jonathan answers that Google's unified login across all its properties has made Google search customer start to use other Google services. Google, however, does not break out data as specific like this to a more finer degree.
5:23pm -- next question: will Google be introducing a content filtering system on YouTube that prevents copyright infringement? Schmidt answers that Google's "claim your content" system is not a content filtering system, but a way for content producers to manage the way in which their content is used specifically with online management tools.
5:25pm -- last question: can Google get to international and domestic parity in terms of Google's revenue? Schmidt says that this is a function of the distribution of online ad dollars more than anything else -- and that is outside Google's control to a point. This was kind of a goofy question. That is, unless Google's plan on world advertising domination comes to fruition ;-)
5:27pm -- the call comes to an end, and Schmidt makes a short ending statement. He still sounds very excited about Google's potential and he thanks Google's partners and even publishers for working with Google on making content available. After all, Google's focus is the customer experience, plain and simple.
5:29pm -- that's it! Google just continues to have one blowout quarter after another. Will it ever end? Who knows -- but saying it will has been getting old as recent quarters have come to a close.