It seems “hard to quibble with the continued success of Google’s advertising business”, says Shira Ovide on Bloomberg Gadfly. Advertising revenue at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, rose $12bn last year, meaning that “in a single year Google found new business that was equivalent to half of Facebook’s total yearly sales”.
But the firm has a potential weakness. Advertisement sales on third-party sites, where Google acts as a middleman, are growing much more slowly than those on its own sites (web search pages, YouTube, Gmail and so on). If Google’s own sites were to decline in [...]