It's 1:33 p.m. Pacific Time and we're going. CEO Eric Schmidt, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, departing CFO George Reyes are all on the call. Ready to hear oh so much good news?
1:36: Schmidt's saying that Google didn't see the same seasonal slow-down it usually does.
1:38: Schmidt turning the call over to departing CFO George Reyes. He's giving him credit for all the financial success. Nothing to do with search ads, of course.
1:44: Turning it over to Larry. He's holding his nose as usual. He's here to talk about search improvements. I'm excited, you?
1:45: Page's impressed that he can get California weather from his iGoogle page.
1:46: Larry's on to Maps and Mapplets. Those are the little widgets that aren't as popular as Facebook apps.
1:47: Sergey talking now about ads and apps. Google's philosophy is to create a "win-win" for advertisers and customers. "Win-lose" didn't pan out, apparently.
1:50: They're making Sergey talk about a Nissan gadget ad. "It's fun for users and it helps Nissan build their brand. Uh. Anyway. We are really excited about these."
1:52: He's on to Google TV ads. Interest and bookings are up. The remarkable thing about television advertising, is that it is almost as accountable as online advertising. Almost. Sort of. Okay, not at all. But it sounds semi-believable when Brin says it.
1:56: Google Gears, you'll recall, allows you to develop applications while you fly on an airplane. Where there is no Internet.
1:56: Eric again. "It's obvious to us that our model works very well."
1:57: We're on to questions and answers. Hey you. Turn on your mute button.
1:58: JP Morgan wants to know what Google's learned from the MySpace deal.
1:59: Sergey answers. Advertising on social networking isn't as good as advertising on search. Shh. OK, it's an opportunity. Shh.
2:01: This analyst wants to know Google can take applications from the Facebook platform. The answer is no, FB apps are written in FBML. And it's illegal, Schmidt said. We're encouraging them to build it for iGoogle instead.
2:03: A UBS analyst asks a questions with his mouth full.
2:04: Google traffic acquisition costs went up, Reyes tells us. And then there's a long pause. Probably because he called it TAC and no one knows what that is. It's what Google has to pay publishers and popular web sites such as MySpace to embed its search engine and inflate search growth.
2:05: Page's answering a question about the 700mhz spectrum auction. He's pleased about the openness put into the rules. The ones that mean the winner of the auction will have to allow anybody's device to access the spectrum.
2:07: Any update on when DoubleClick will close, an analyst asks.
2:07: Schmidt says Google is following procedure and that it will result "in a very good outcome for us. Our next question?"
2:09: This smartass analyst wants to know why Google thinks its required to build a mobile OS. One of the geek founders answers. "There are opportunities available." And do you know how much money we have?
2:10: Analyst wants to know: You said you were going to watch headcount. Instead, you added more new people in the third quarter than you did in the second. WTF.
2:11: "You should be comfortable that we're paying a lot of attention to the headcount," Schmidt replies.
2:13: An analyst asks, With your ability to monetize better than others, will your TAC rates go down?
2:14: Answer: We have more academic traffic, unlike other players in the market, so we have more traffic that goes unmonetized, alas.
2:15: Jeffrey Lindsay from Sanford Bernstein wants to know where Postini sales force is located. Also, he wants to know why Google thinks it needs more sales people. Didn't you people say you were watching headcount?
2:16: One of the things we're trying to avoid is having multiple sales forces for different sales products. Named customers get one voice from Google. I am not going to answer your question. How dare you doubt us. Gawd.
2:18: This guy just asked "when do you expect to turn up the monetization dial on YouTube?" Douche.
2:19: Brin, "we have fantastic technology."
2:19: To what degree are brand advertisers evaluating their online advertising along with their offline advertising as a single message?
2:21: "We are very confident in terms of the future, especially the video, as well as TV. Search will continue to remain a very strong focus."
2:21: This analyst is on a speakerphone. And he's getting AIM pings. How is Google Checkout going?
2:22: Brin: "I personally use it all the time."
2:23: Merchants who are using Google Checkout are getting a higher click-through rate and decreasing cost-per-click.
2:25: Oppenheimer & Co wants to know the breakdown between mobile and PC searching.
2:27: Schmidt answers, saying that mobile searches are still a small percentage of total searches. But it's growing faster than anything else. We wish all devices could run our software.
2:28: Time for only one more question!
2:28: Analyst: Just two questions here.
2:29: He asked about growth rates in China and India. And privacy standards.
2:29: "Our growth there is quite significant," Schmidt says. In India, we have majority share. In China there is a local player. A local player run by the government, capable of blocking us entirely. Us and everybody else.
2:30: "On privacy: Our ultimate success is based on the success and happiness of users." Not our fantastic profits. No, no. Though yes, they are nice. "So with that, we've run out of time. Come back for a financial analyst meeting next week."
For more gloating? Bah!