Posted April 2, 2008 6:19 pm by with 8 comments

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When Google decided to buy DoubleClick, it sent some shock through the search marketing industry. DoubleClick has owned Performics, the third largest affiliate network, since 2004. Performics not only provided affiliate marketing services, but also search-engine marketing (SEM) and search-engine optimization (SEO) services.

Suddenly it looked like agencies would be competing against Google – a serious conflict of interest. Agencies were suddenly worried that Google would give away the services that they sold to clients. And Performics may get unfair advantages, such as insight into Google’s algorithms (more details from InfoWorld).

Clients of SEM and SEO companies likely wouldn’t like the conflict of interest either. Clients want to save money, Google wants those same clients to spend it on more advertising.

This afternoon Google announced that they split Performics into two divisions and are selling the search marketing piece. The Google blog explains:

“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.”

Though they say there is interest, Google hasn’t named a buyer. This doesn’t help affiliate marketers sleep easy though…

“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.”

I was hoping Google would sell all of Performics. Internet marketing companies must feel relief at this news, while companies like Commission Junction and other affiliate networks have reason to be concerned.

hat tip to Danny Sullivan via Twitter

  • I think pretty much everyone was expecting/hoping for this, but it’s definitely good news.

  • I would rather see them sell it all. Google is so powerful they make me quite uncomfortable, even without the DoubleClick purchase.

  • What I find interesting is that a source at DC (no, a real one – not like the one in my April Fool) said that in an internal Q&A after Google bought DC, a high level rep from Google flat out said that there were no plans to sell Performics.

    I guess that if a week’s a long time in politics, a day’s a long one on the web.

  • Craig B

    Given Commission Junction’s recent detestable, anti-competitive behavior towards Pepperjam, personally I wouldn’t mind seeing Google kick them down a few pegs.

  • I’m glad Google realized this was the right move. It would have created too much of a conflict of interest to keep Performics.

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  • This is really good news

  • google have no other choices , it is about their reputation in search engine business. Surely they won’t sacrifice their S engine business which is their the core of their business. So they’re forced to leave their SEO busines

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