After reporting Q3 earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, Google’s conference call began with CEO Eric Schmidt noting that new CFO Patrick Pichette, who signed on this summer, joined at an interesting time. Search, Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) core, is where the company will put a lot of its investment and will add more personalization and tools to help advertisers manage their ad budgets. YouTube is now running ads with 90 percent of its partners. The integration with DoubleClick will bring more targeting for display, but the focus will be on keeping costs down. Schmidt concluded his opening remarks saying that while the macro-economy looks bad, he remains optimistic about Google’s ability to keep growing.
— After Pichette ran through the highlights of Q3 — revenues up 31 percent to $5.54 billion year-over-year, and net income of $1.56 billion (earnings per share of $4.92) — co-founder Sergey Brin was up to discuss some of the new features Google has on the tech front, including constant improvement on the ratings of landing pages designed to elevate search quality. “We continue to blend more of our books, videos into more of our search results. Especially powerful, especially when you think of video. It’s a great reference tool, though most people still don’t think to look for videos when they’re searching for information.” He also provided an overview of news about the AdSense for Games, YouTube’s affiliate sales agreements, placing full-length episodes of CBS (NYSE: CBS) videos on YouTube, the coming launch of the Android mobile phone operating system and the Chrome browser. Of the latter, Brin said, “We hope it raises the bar for all browsers, as we want our services to run at their best on all of them.
— During the Q&A, JP Morgan’s Imran Khan asked Schmidt about what kind of business trends the company is seeing in October. “We see fluctuations and it’s complex. It varies by country and by region, however.” Google