UPDATED 17:58 EST / JANUARY 21 2010

Google Q4 Earnings Not Bad At All – Google is Still Unstoppable

Google (GOOG) reported Q4 earnings today. They reported revenues of $6.67 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, up 17% vs the fourth quarter of 2008. Earnings for the quarter came in at $1.97 billion, up from $348 million for the same quarter of 2008. Earnings per share were $6.13, up from $1.21 a year earlier, although the 2008 figure included stock-based compensation and year-ago impairments, Adjusted, earnings rose to $6.79 from $5.10 per share.

Google’s official comment was the following

“Google had a strong fourth quarter, with 17% year over year revenue growth,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “Given that the global economy is still in the early days of recovery, this was an extraordinary end to the year. Our performance in 2009 underscored the strength of our management team, the resilience of our business model and the pace of innovation within our product and engineering teams, which continued unabated throughout the downturn. As we enter 2010, we remain hugely optimistic about the internet and are continuing to invest heavily in technological innovation for the benefit not only of our users and customers, but also the wider web.”

Google stock has been riding high and their product moves have been stellar of late Chrome, App Engine, Cloud, Android. There is more coming. As I posted last week before the China “thing” – Google is unstoppable and only the governments can stop them. Certainly that post was a prelude to the China “thing”. Obviously China wants to stop Google.

Rob Hof was monitoring the call and reported the following

Despite recent battles with Apple, glitches in the rollout of its Nexus One cell phone, challenges in China, and competition with just about everyone in tech, Google’s core business–search advertising–is starting to roll again following the past year’s economy-driven slowdown. “We’re back in business full blast,” CEO Eric Schmidt said on the conference call.

In particular, Schmidt says display will be the “next huge business” for Google. And he says it’s a little-known story how successful Google has been in display–though he didn’t add any details. He views 2010 as the year this will become apparent. More on what Google plans to do in display from my BusinessWeek story last year.

Mobile may start to become a noticeable piece of that display ad business as well, bolstered by its purchase of AdMob in November. Then there’s YouTube, which Google also said was doing well–though again with no specifics.

In any case, it appears that whatever other challenges Google faces this year, its core business won’t be one of them. Which is more than most large ad-supported businesses (that is, traditional media) can say.

Most of the earnings call is dominated by the China “thing” but Google isn’t performing bad at all. As I wrote last week Google has everything going for them must of which is CASH and deep product research and development.

The Google equation is at the heart of the disruptive convergence in tech – cloud, social web, and mobility. Why is Google so powerful? In the emerging technology they are pushing in all areas – cloud, social web, and mobility. Combine that with the fact that they have a monopoly lock on the “regular” web – search.

Putting it all together: data, software, and massive compute scale is Google’s Opportunity.

Google ability to advance on the user experience in new emerging categories leveraged by their massive market share on search (and Google toolbar) gives them unprecedented data. Just thinking about the possibilities makes me dizzy.

Competitively speaking I just don’t see anyone stepping up to challenge Google.

Microsoft? No. IBM? No. HP? No. Intel? No. Cisco? No. A startup? No Way!

How this will impact the marketplace for companies and startups – not sure but it’s not growth. Google can steamroll anyone. Look at the Nexus One phone. In a months Google makes Motorola

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