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Twitter Q2 misses on sales of $683M, loss per share of $0.16 as COVID-19 takes its toll



On the back of a major security breach last week that saw a bitcoin scam ripple through some of the highest profile accounts on Twitter, the company today reported Q2 earnings that point to the ongoing struggle for ad-based social platforms to weather the pandemic storm while (ironically) handling record levels of traffic and the many growing pains that come with that.

Revenues came in at $683 million with a loss per share (GAAP) of $0.01, with both figures down on the same quarter a year ago, compared to analysts’ expectations, and on Twitter’s own guidance. Meanwhile mDAUs — Twitter’s own audience metric denoting monetizeable daily active users — reached a high of 186 million for the quarter.

Analyst consensus was for $700 million in sales, while Twitter expected a 27% higher figure. Adjusted EPS, meanwhile, was negative $0.16 (non-adjusted was negative $1.56), while analysts expected negative $0.01. For some context, in the same quarter a year ago Twitter reported revenues of $841 million on adjusted EPS of $0.20.

A further note on Twitter’s diluted EPS of negative $1.56: it stemmed from a net loss of $1.2 billion, and Twitter explained that this was in part due to a deferred tax asset valuation allowance of $1.1 billion and a non-cash income tax expense based primarily on cumulative taxable losses “driven primarily by COVID-19.”

The numbers underscore just how much advertising — which accounts for the majority of Twitter’s revenues — has taken a hit for the company despite the continuing surge of traffic and popularity for the site itself. That mDAU figure not only bettered Twitter’s figures last year of 139 million, but beat analysts’ average expectation of 173 million.

Advertising specifically accounted for $562 million of its revenues, down 23% on a year ago. Twitter noted that the pandemic and “civil unrest” that led to many advertisers pausing campaigns both contributed to the decline. The U.S., Twitter’s biggest market, saw a decline of 25% in ad spend.

It goes to show the disconnect not only between audience and advertising that still seems to exist — ads ultimately not only follow eyeballs, but the economy, and that has been in decline — but also the disconnect between financials and how a company is discussed in popular discourse.

That is to say, the big story with Twitter in the last three months has been the ongoing questions of quality, health and security on the platform, and how and whether should Twitter disable bad actors while still upholding free speech. That debate will continue for a long time to come, not just on Twitter but in the halls of government in the months ahead.

It’s that focus on improving the product that CEO Jack Dorsey focused on in his statement on this past quarter’s performance.


“Our product work is paying off, with tremendous growth in audience and engagement,” he said. “We grew mDAU to 186 million, a 34% year over year increase in Q2, the highest quarterly year-over-year growth rate we’ve delivered since we began reporting mDAU growth.

“I also want to address the security issue Twitter suffered last week. We moved quickly to address what happened, and have taken additional steps to improve resiliency against targeted social engineering attempts, implemented numerous safeguards to improve the security of our internal systems, and are working with law enforcement. We understand our responsibilities and are committed to earning the trust of all of our stakeholders with our every action, including how we address this security issue. We will continue to be transparent in sharing our learnings and remediations.”

Ned Segal, the CFO, noted that the ad server rebuild should also help the company recover going forward.

“Despite the pandemic, brands have found innovative ways to join the conversation on Twitter to connect with their customers,” he said. “We have completed our ad server rebuild and are making progress accelerating our performance ads roadmap. With a larger audience and progress in ads, we are even better positioned to deliver for advertisers when the live events and product launches that bring many people and advertisers to Twitter return to our lives.”

More to come.



Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”



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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.



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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.


But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.


One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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