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Is online advertising picking up?

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Google has revealed a rise in earnings in the first three months of 2010 that suggests online advertising spend is starting to increase.

Year-on-year revenue rose to $6.77bn in the first quarter of 2010, a 23% rise compared to the same time last year.

The figures showed that paid clicks, relating both to clicks on Google site ads and to clicks on the sites of AdSense partners, rose by 15% in the quarter, compared to the previous year. They were up by about 5% over the previous quarter.

But while the cost-per-click was up by 7% compared to last year, it was down by some 4% compared to the last quarter of 2009 last year.

Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer of Google, said: “Going forward we remain committed to heavy investment in innovation, both to spur future growth in our core and emerging businesses as well as to help build the future of the open web.”

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