Google today announced whopping Q4 2010 profits just moments after Eric Schmidt told the world he's stepping aside for Larry Page to become CEO of the company.

The company's earnings were up 26 per cent from the same period last year with bringing in $8.44 billion for a net income of $2.54 billion, with each of the 326 million shares earning $7.81.

CFO Patrick Pichette called the earnings "a phenomenal ending to a very good year."

Comparing the results to Apple's earnings during the same period will please Steve Jobs. Cupertino posted profits of $6 billion and revenue of $26.4 billion, up 71 per cent. Earnings-per-share were $6.43.

Down in the UK

In other news 52 per cent of all revenue come from oversees, while the $878million it brought in from the UK was two per cent down on last year's figure for Q4, from 12 per cent to 10.

Current CEO Eric Schmidt said: "Q4 marked a terrific end to a stellar year.

"Our strong performance has been driven by a rapidly growing digital economy, continuous product innovation that benefits both users and advertisers, and by the extraordinary momentum of our newer businesses, such as display and mobile.

"These results give us the optimism and confidence to invest heavily in future growth -- investments that will benefit our users, Google and the wider web."

Wages on the up

Another notable element to come out of the earnings call was the news that Google plans to raise its salaries by 10 per cent across the board in order to attract and keep Silicon Valley's finest talent.

Looking forward it seems that Google is will attempt to exploit the social search goldmine. Co-Founder Larry Brin says the company has only "unlocked one per cent" of what can be done in this area.