MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google has silenced the increasing clamor over its staying power in the face of economic gloom by posting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue growth.

Shares in the company, which have fallen by 35% since the beginning of the year, rose 17% on news that the online search giant earned $1.31 billion (€826m; £656m) in the first three months, an increase of 30% on the year earlier period.

Said ceo Eric Schmidt, emboldened by the numbers: "Our conclusion is we're well-positioned, should economics change, to continue to do well because our model is so targeted, and targeted advertising does well in pretty much most scenarios."

Google reported that clicks on the ads it displays increased 20% in the first quarter, compared with the same period in 2007, a good deal better than ComScore's estimate of 1.8% growth in US clicks.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff