Google’s first-quarter revenue has been revealed at $45.6 billion. The number topples over what Wall Street had estimated, and, according to Bloomberg, it indicates a shift in user behaviour: people are itching to get back to ‘normal’ life, and their Google use reflects that.
As Bloomberg explains, Google has had its share of ups and downs since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Like most major tech companies, Google found some success as behaviours shifted.
For example, revenue for YouTube skyrocketed as more users were spending time at home. Google’s cloud services found success as well, as more users began working remotely. However, Google struggled in some areas – most notably, search queries for travel and trips decreased, and Google’s travel-based services went mostly unused.
Google’s most recent numbers show rampant success, and chief financial officer Ruth Porat says that they “reflect elevated consumer activity online and broad-based growth in advertiser revenue.”
The vaccine effect: how Google’s numbers show shifting behaviours
More than one million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been given worldwide. Google’s recent user activity patterns may indicate that users are starting to use the search engine for things that were largely unavailable during the pandemic: physical shops, restaurants, and travel destinations. In fact, Google has experienced a surge in ad sales for travel and retail.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable, as vaccination rates are climbing while new COVID-19 strains are concerning experts. Google’s financial reports will continue to be a snapshot of user behaviour as this period continues.