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Google earnings focus on the search and ads that actually pay the bills

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With all the modular phone concepts, balloon internet projects, robots and drones it can be easy to forget Google's main business angle: search and advertising. Google reported its first quarter earnings today and didn't have much to say about our favorite topics -- we'll hear more about those at Google I/O in June -- or even its pending sale of Motorola to Lenovo. Responding to an analyst's question, Google execs Patrick Pichette and Nikesh Arora mentioned the need to "keep evolving (search) results," as it increasingly serves up info (sports scores, TV listings, restaurant menus) on its own website instead of just providing links. That's probably also behind its push for Google Now results that bring up relevant info before the user even asks, on the desktop and mobile. In a brief reference to the Chromecast, Pichette called the $35 device a hit, mentioning the over 3,000 developers had signed up to build apps since the launch of the SDK.

Its revenue of $15.4 billion was up 19 percent over the same period last year, but investment types were hoping for more. Google has the same issue as competitors like Facebook, as they try to replicate their success on the desktop and keep users clicking on ads sent to phones and tablets. Still, as long as "cost per click" contributes heavily to the bottom line, it's going to be a more important question on these investor calls than "so just how many units did Google Glass sell yesterday?"

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