That seems to be the central question on investors’ minds today as they digest news from comScore that clicks on Google’s paid search ads were down 12% in January from October and flat from a year ago. Google’s stock, already hit in recent weeks from a disappointing (if hardly disastrous) fourth quarter and growing worries that the economic downturn would hurt online advertising, was down as much as 8% at one point today, even after a 4% drop Monday.
As the trading day wound on, the pile-on let up a bit, so Google’s stock was down less than 5% at the market close. But the concerns remain. How valid are they?