Google nearly trebles profits as it continues to grow

Google's fourth quarter profits have increased nearly threefold from $372m (£189m) to $1.03bn. The company's revenues for the quarter rose 67% from $1.92bn to $3.21bn, thanks to an increase in search traffic and better targeting of online ads.

For the first time Google published a figure for the percentage growth in revenue-generating click-throughs. These were up 61% from the fourth quarter of 2005 and up 22% from the third quarter of 2006.

Eric Schmidt, chief executive of the search giant, said business was "very, very good".

In the UK, the search engine is now making a concerted effort to connect with advertisers and their agencies.

In January last year, the online firm appointed Mark Howe, former IDS managing director, to the position of managing director at Google UK.

This was followed last month with the appointment of Jonathan Gillespie, former head of radio at Omnicom's pooled buying unit Opera, as a leader of agency relationships.

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