Google is still mostly an ad company — but apps and even hardware are growing fast


When Google (s GOOG) released its Q4 earnings on Thursday, all eyes were on Motorola’s performance; the search giant had announced Wednesday that it is selling Motorola’s cell-phone business for close to $3 billion to Lenovo, ending an adventure that cost the company another $384 million last quarter.

But while the sale of Motorola may give the impression that Google is going back to its roots by only making money with ads, it’s worth noting that the company saw some of its fastest revenue growth outside of its traditional ad business. Non-ad revenue, which includes both app and media sales as well as sales of hardware products like Chromecast, grew 99 percent in 2013.

During Q4 of 2013, Google generated $1.65 billion of non-ad revenue, compared to $829 million in Q4 of 2012. Revenue from this segment now makes up for 10 percent of Google’s overall revenue, compared to six…

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