When Google purchased DoubleClick, they also became the owners of Performics – Search Engine Optimization company. There was a lot of talk in the SEO/SEM community about that being a conflict of interest – a Search Engine company owning a Search Engine Optimization company.
Last week Google announced it will sell off the Performics portion of DoubleClick:
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.
Of course, looking back, it seemed obvious that Google would do that. It was the right thing to do and failure to do that would have shed a bad light on Google. Danny Sullivan was one who openly expressed the desire to see Google do that and is glad they did.
Couple the sale of Performics and the reported layoff of 300 of DoubleClick’s employees and that means about 500 people share the distinction of briefly being Google employees. That fact still looks nice on a résumé…