Today is the day. Later this afternoon, Google
Analysts expect profits to soar 88% higher, with Google earning $2.90 a share for the period. Would I like to see Google smoke Wall Street yet again? You bet. However, there are a few things I would like to see in the search giant's report.
1. Flesh out the YouTube user monetization strategy
I know why it had to be YouTube's Chad Hurley who let the cat out of the bag over the weekend. If Google's new video-sharing site is going to begin a revenue-sharing deal with its community, it had to come from the founders the community trusts, rather than from Big G.
Cool. Now let's hear Google spill the rest of the beans. If targeted AdWords ads are going to start populating the tail end of user videos, is it prepared to tackle the click-fraud fallout? Google has done a reasonable job of booting out corruptible AdSense publishers, but now there's a thinner layer of sophistication in the system. At the very least, please don't tell me that folks will begin uploading videos about asbestos, male impotency, or home refinancing just to draw the high-paying ads.
Let me be clear on where I stand here: I believe this will be a huge winner for Google. The potential for greater monetization on YouTube is huge, and now Google will get users to buy in by sharing the wealth. That is bloody brilliant. Let's just hope it doesn't get bloody bloody on the way there.
2. Show a little humility
Google is so far ahead of the pack in paid search that we sometimes forget that the search leader can be mortal. It would be great to see Google mull over some of its more recent mistakes. It shelved its Google Answers site this past quarter -- a move that showed Google clearly bowing to the stickier competition in Yahoo!
No, Google isn't perfect. Orkut has yet to evolve into a social-networking force, outside Brazil. Picasa is a great digital-snapshot application, but in the words of Marvin the Martian, where's the earth-shattering kaboom?
3. Let's get an honest assessment on Google Checkout
By most accounts, eBay
Let's get a frank update on Checkout, Google. If it's a cash drain, how long will the company keep trying before it pulls the plug? There's no shame in giving up. Microsoft
4. Give up the skinny on the game plan
Last week's juicy tidbit that Google is looking to acquire AdScape was intriguing. If Google is making inroads in print and radio advertising, why not take a step into the future to make sure that it has a prominent role with in-game ads, too? Microsoft is already a major player here with its Massive acquisition and its Xbox platform. I doubt that we'll ever see a Gbox -- though someone rush me a trademark form so I can get cranking on that -- but dynamic video-game advertising is a booming business.
All of the next-generation handheld and console systems have Wi-Fi connectivity. Companies see the allure in delivering new software and premium upgrades cheaply, but that's also an open invitation to popularize in-game ads that change on the fly.
5. Just keep doing what you do, Google
I just stepped up to Don Corleone on the day of his daughter's wedding and asked him for four favors. Let me bow out at this point with my fifth, and final, request. Google, just do that thing you do. You know, the one where you humble the prognosticators with yet another blowout quarter.
You make it seem so easy. Just when you think that Wall Street has a clue, you go ahead and mystify. Keep on keeping on, my friend.
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Microsoft is an Inside Value recommendation.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a huge fan of Google, and it would be his homepage if it weren't for Fool.com taking up that piece of real estate. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.
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