The moment I heard the news that Google owned a search engine optimization company called Performics, I had a feeling that it should generate much hype and debate as to whether Google should maintain such business. Imagine that if a client approached an SEO vendor, this client has an obvious objective to improve its search engine visibility in Google or any other search engine. But what if the vendor, in this case Performics, will brag that it has strong ties with Google because it’s owned by the search engine giant? It would be no-brainer to choose this agency because clients usually think that if the agency carries the Google name, Google does them favors on search visibility. And that could be true.
That could spell doom on other search engine optimization agencies that many can easily say are shooting in the dark with recommendations without actually deciphering Google’s algorithm code. Danny Sullivan, the godfather of search, voiced his concern with an article asking Google to sell its search engine marketing firm that works to improve search results on Google search engine. Not long after he did make this appeal, Google decided that it’s not their business to join the SEO business citing that it’s ” clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business. Maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to Google’s mission and core to the trust we ask from our users.”
Indeed, maintaining objectivity in search and advertising begets trust from its users. Google mentions that it will sell Performics to a third party which is still unidentified. On one hand, Google gets to stick to its popular mantra “Don’t do Evil” because it avoids conflict of interest if it continues to maintain Performics. On the other hand, Performics could be better off on the hands of other owners than with Google, which just announced it is reducing manpower of the recent acquisition DoubleClick by 300 employees.
Here’s what Google has to say through Sullivan’s article at AdAge.
Since we closed the acquisition of DoubleClick on March 11, we’ve been immersed in integration planning for each of our products and business units. Recently we completed this process for the DoubleClick Performics businesses, and have decided to split them into two separately-run business units: Affiliate Marketing and Search Marketing.
It’s clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business. Maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to Google’s mission and core to the trust we ask from our users. For this reason, we plan to sell the Performics search marketing business to a third party. We believe this will allow us to maintain objectivity and the search marketing business to continue to grow and innovate and serve its customers. While we have not yet identified a buyer, we’ve received preliminary interest from a number of our current partners. Search Marketing will continue to run as a separate entity until the division is sold.
We plan to integrate the affiliate marketing business into existing Google operations, providing enhanced value and reach for our affiliate advertisers, and additional tools and monetization opportunities for our publishers. Together, we believe that we can continue to grow this business and deliver on the high expectations from partners.
Where it’s applicable in Europe, these plans and their implications for employees are subject to consultation with staff and employee representatives. During this transition, we will ensure that all affiliate and search marketing customers receive the same high level of service they have always experienced.