What Will Google Do With Performics?

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Now that Google has acquired the Internet advertising giant DoubleClick, what are they planning to do with its search marketing company Performics?

You mean, Google now owns one of the largest SEO companies in the world? Yep!

1. Google Buys DoubleClick
2. DoubleClick owns Performics
3. Google decides to keep Performics

Initial reaction may be that there is a conflict of interest by Google owning one of the largest search marketing firms in the business, since the goal Performics is to rank their clients highly and efficiently on Google and other search engines.

Performics clients include:

America Online, Blair Corp., Bose, Cingular, CompUSA, Eddie Bauer, Fairmont Hotels, HP Shopping, J. Jill, Jos. A. Banks, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Motorola, OfficeMax, PC Connection, RedEnvelope, My Sony, Quickbook, Staples, Verizon Wireless, and Wyndham Hotels.

Such services offered by Performics include paid search marketing, ‘natural’ search engine optimization and data feed marketing.

So, Performics is essentially an SEO company owned by Google.

Shawn Collins of AffiliateTip points out some bizarre language on the Google DoubleClick acquisition FAQ:

Q. What will Google do with Performics?
A. Performics is part of DoubleClick, and we are acquiring it as part of the transaction. We have no plans to dispose of it at this time.

‘No plans to dispose’ of Performics? Dispose is an interesting choice of words.

What do you think Google will do with Performics?

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • CarstenCumbrowski

    – Get their Google Pay per action feature right

    – Use the Performics 50 Index to improve their Metrics across platforms and compensation methods to make it easier for Advertisers to make the right choices regarding which advertising to use (display ads, publisher network, CPA, PPC ads, radio, TV, you name it)

    – might add revenue share as option to the mix as option to choose from by Google Advertisers

    that are just a few that I can think of out of my head

  • Hawaii Pictures

    Google will keep them. Why loose existing customers and reinvent the wheel?

    The SEO/SEM part of the company will likely be sold but the third largest affiliate marketing company in the world is a keeper.

  • Loren Baker, Editor


    Do you think it would be ethical for Google to continue running Performics as an SEO & Search Marketing company?

    I mean, if there is a raise in client rankings across the board, that would really raise eyebrows… and if Performics uses “well, we’re owned by Google” line to differentiate themselves from the competition….

  • Ken Savage

    Any bets on 5 years from now they’re the only place to do serious online advertising?

    They totally have the full spectrum now with the engine, adwords to checkout.

  • Matthew Elshaw

    IMO, it would be totally unethical for Google to keep Performics. Search engines owning search marketing firms. It just doesn’t work.

  • Owen Cutajar

    At the end of the day, I don’t see any difficulty with Google owning Perfomics, especially if the firm’s operation is above-board.

    Unless Google comes under pressure to sell it off, I doubt they would.

  • James

    If they keep Performics it will basically turn them into an agency for selling placement in their organic results. Effectively making every link in their index a “sponsored link”. Which overtime will detoriate their results and users will switch to the more fairer little guys (like http://www.tallstreet.com/)

    So eventually they will have to draw a line and either make their ranking fairer, or dispose of it.

  • Bill Hartzer

    Carsten brings up some good points. I suspect that Google will keep Performics, but might consider “rebranding” them from calling it a Search Engine Marketing company, to another form of advertising. Or they might just leave it as-is.

    As far as ethics goes and Google owning a Search Engine Marketing firm, you need to consider that both Yahoo! and MSN have “search engine marketing” employees.

  • James

    Yes because if everyone else if doing it, it must be ok.

    What made Google more popular in the first place was that their results wern’t influenced by how much money someone was willing to spend to get a good position on Google. It meant if you searched a term and an acedemic document appeared at the top, it was ok.

    This clearly isn’t the case, if an acedmic document deserves to be at the top but some company wants that position more – the company hires an SEO firm and it’ll get the top spot. If you have the money you can get to the top of any term. Its time for a new way of ranking results, one that it about pleasing your USERS not the search engine.

  • Si Parker

    i reckon they will continue to run performics and take on some high profile customers who will rank really well for some difficult keywords at which point google will sandbox them and sue themselves in a big lawsuit.

    would be totally stupid but great headline news

  • Jim L

    There will be too much pressure. They will have to ‘dispose’ of the SEO component of the business. GOOG is starting to raise some interest by the Feds into where they are headed.

    Is this Microsoft 2.0?

  • seoimage

    Google will have to sell it, the criticism will be overwhelming. Most of us can agree that it was not their reason for wanting DoubleClick.

    I bet it will fetch a top price for any company looking for an SEO firm, the ebay auction may start soon.

    I’ll start the bidding!!!!

  • Michael

    This seems insane to me. By the way, Google, you can buy my SEO/Web Analytics company, too. Asking price: priceless. Seriously, though, if you bought me out for $500,000, I would sell it to you and open an organic beer brew pub. You could sponsor my pub, too, if you’d like.

  • Brian Turner

    It would be more interesting to hear what sort of SEO model Performics actually offers.

    For example, is it general “search engine friendliness” and similar entry level stuff?

    Or does it offer serious link buying or cloaking solutions?

    If the first, it’s no big deal – Google have already “SEO’ed” eBay to make the listings properly indexable (filling themselves with eBay subdomain spam at the same time).

    If the second – then a valuable window of data on how to hurt blackhats, algo style. 🙂

    I suspect much more the former, though… 🙂

  • Mike Levin of HitTail

    No matter how this plays out, marketing firms worldwide should diversify, employing techniques that target traffic in a long-term cross-engine fashion. It will be interesting to see what happens with Performics, if the DoubleClick aquisition itself isn’t blocked.

  • Vincent Clement

    What bizarre language? The word ‘dispose’ is a common word used in the business world. Companies dispose of assets, they dispose of inventory, they dispose of division. Dispose is just another term for ‘sell’.

  • Bill

    No worries or concerns here. 🙂

    Google didn’t buy Doubleclick based upon Performics SEO offerings.

    It might not be a bad idea to spin the company off on its own to remove any perception of conflict of interest, but if they don’t, I’m not sure that it really worries me.

  • Lewis

    So, what happened to the “don’t be evil” catchphrase Google used to go by? Doesn’t this seem horribly unfair for all the other little SEO guys out there? I recognize it’s their prerogative to buy who they want to buy, but it sure seems evil towards anyone who is not Performics.

    I think the only “fair” thing to do to make it look like Google’s treating everyone equitably is to sell off the clients to other SEOs as soon as they can and meld the SEO guys at Performics into Google’s metrics-writing team.

  • Andrew

    Are you kidding? The government is never going to beat on their endless source of information and metrics.

    Jim L:
    “There will be too much pressure. They will have to ‘dispose’ of the SEO component of the business. GOOG is starting to raise some interest by the Feds into where they are headed.

    Is this Microsoft 2.0?”

  • Margaret


    You are all so worried about Performics, but John Doe and his wife surfing the web this evening won’t give a damn, and won’t even understand the issue.

    They will not sell Performics. I think they will see the opportunities in keeping it. Google is about marrying strategy and technology to get an advantage and earn more money than the competition, and the main driving force is ads. To leave such an opportunity would make sense only if they have an even better strategy to wield their search-powers on the adds market, and make money off it.

  • Steve Haar

    I think a more interesting question is ‘what are Performics client going to do with Performics?’ There are some good frontline folks there that can help ease the transition (if there is one), but there will always be apprehension. Can the clients be made comfortable enough that they can trust Google to allow the agency to be really autonomous?

  • Eric

    I think the big issue is, what does this do to help solve the issue with indexing and ranking of content for the benefit of the searcher? It doesnt seem like much, just another move by Google to flex their muscles.

    They better be careful as all that flexing could cause a hernia and a user generated content search portal like Wiki could slip right underneath their enormous pecs!

  • Adam Maywald

    I have to agree that Google will eventually sell off that part of the pie. I couldn’t image them actually selling SEO/M services to the general public. How much would you pay to have your site optimized, not for, but BY Google?

    Google does like to keep SEO’s in their good graces, i mean honestly, how much extra revenue does SEO/M firms contribute to their core business, which is selling ads? I’d say quite a bit.

  • Andrej

    What they will do is keep the company and help them with their own knowhow and than they’ll together earn big money… is there any better way?

  • Dan Perry

    I agree with Bill H. MSN and Yahoo have SEO/SEM people on staff; by acquiring 2xClick/Performics, Google automatically adds a qualified level of sophisticated staff. Personally, I think they should spin it off, but I don’t think they will.

  • Globalwarming Awareness2007

    What should google do? And since when does seo have to be diametrically opposed to google? Some seo’ers love google.

  • Li Evans

    great thing to point out Loren… it would definitely leave people with their head scratching, that’s for sure..

    if they don’t “dispose” of Performics, they could be called on the carpet for “being evil” (my daily dose of snark for the day), however keeping Performics could potentially affect them if the regulators really do start digging into this.

    a search engine owning a search engine optimization firm…. isn’t that a bit monopolistic? i can see senator stevens now…. blathering on about tubes and monopoly (hmmm.. could that be a new game?).

    again, great catch loren! 🙂

  • Danny Sullivan

    It’s incompatible for Google to own a firm that generates a large part of its business by people ranking well on Google. It opens them up to accusations that Performics will get insider knowledge or be favored over other “third party” firms. I expect it to be sold in short order and remain amazed the FAQ doesn’t actually say something like “we’re aware of the inherent conflicts in owning this unit and are exploring options.” It makes it feel that Performics, and the issues it poses, were barely an afterthought in the entire deal.

  • Greg Meyers

    Great story here. I think Google is already trying to clean up their act in anticipation of what to do with Performics. Makes you wonder why Matt Cutts is getting all “hot & heavy” over paid links.

    You have to question how much is performics and it’s past revenue, clients and processes are worth to Google’s investors? and what would the investors want to do with it, because at the end of the day, it’s the investors who payed for their right to voice about the position of the company.

    Google knew what they were getting into when they purchased Doubleclick. I find it very unlikely that they do not know what to do with Performics. I guess we’ll here something in the coming months, but if they decide to keep performics, they need to be very careful about how they position themselves in this industry.

  • Jonathan Mendez

    Let’s not forget Performics is one of the largest and the fastest growing AFFILIATE marketing companies. With the recent Google foray in PPA keeping Performics starts to make a lot more sense.

  • Carsten Cumbrowski

    The Search Part must probably get reduced to the analytics portion of it to help their Advertisers to determine and measure channel conflicts between affiliate marketing and SEO/SEM campaigns.

    The other big Affiliate Networks Commission Junction and Linkshare offer Search Marketing services as well, because it makes sense.


    CJ is owned by ValueClick, so Google would had have a similar problem, if they would have bought them and not DoubleClick.

    Performics does a bit more Search Marketing business than its competitor Networks, but that does not change the general conflict that Danny pointed out.

    What Google can use though is Performics expertise in Analytics because they did Cross Channel advertising using different compensation models (CPC, CPA, CPS and CPM ) for Advertisers, something Google didn’t do yet, but will do.

  • John Andrews

    Those are big clients, and whatever organic search they were doing can now go bye-bye. Google gets to see what exactly they were doing besides PPC (if anything), and address that market opportunity.

  • Pozycjonowanie

    Now we should report how Performics clients rank in SERP’s and check it later – if the ranks goes up we should start to worry 🙂

  • John

    Google most buy all….

  • Chris Beasley

    Since when is performics an SEO company?

    I’ve never heard of them offering SEO services until today, but rather always knew them (for years) as an affiliate network, like CJ or Linkshare. For instance I just got an email that Target was moving their affiliate program to Performics, from Linkshare, in May.

    Digging further it looks like Peformics only launched their organic SEO service 8 days ago.


    This post is probably making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Riley of Seolid

    This is straight conflict of interest.
    Hey, we often see this advice to newbie website owners around on seo forums : “don’t trust seo firms who tell you that they have close relationship with the search engines”. IMHO I think we have to revise this now to “you can trust … blah blah blah” . Well , for the moment.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Chris Beasley, Performics has offered Search Marketing & SEO services for more than 4 years.

    ” 1. Paid Placement – know what paid keywords convert to sales and optimize ROI on advertising investments with Overture, Google and several other paid search engines.
    2. Paid Inclusion – distribute comprehensive product data feeds to multiple search engines and directories.
    3. Natural SEO consultation – drive customers to the right Web page so they can take action.
    4. Optimization – proactively manage search engine placement based on real-time sales conversion tracking and predictable ROI measurement.
    5. Robust reporting – track all online customer acquisition programs – from affiliate, search, e-mail marketing and portal relationships – in one technology and reporting application.”

  • Jaan Kanellis

    The largest search engine in the world buying one of the larger SEO companies in the world? Than this as “evil” as it gets if you ask me. They HAVE to sell the SEO part and of course consider keeping the affiliate component.

    If anything I feel bad for the clients of Performics if they were happy with the results, because those are going bye bye. If I was SEO sale person (smile, smile) I would be on the horn to these clients right now. John A is right…I wonder if Google will be taking a very close look at the internal SEO workings of Performics before selling them. Much might be gained of this if the results from the organic work of Performics was any good.

  • Esoteric Labs

    Google will, undoubtedly, use it to bully webmasters into even fewer options regarding SEO… and at the same time they are asking real people to “out” companies using paid text links. So soon, unless you are a multi-national, corporate conglomerate with public news posted across the web on a daily basis, UR skrewed… Don’t worry, they’ll soon own Digg and Delicious as well….

  • Ash Nallawalla

    They will have to sell Performics or discontinue the SEO service. There is more long-term revenue from AdWords than from SEO.

  • Motorcycle Guy

    This just goes to show how “do no evil” can’t hold up. If they get rid of performics that might be evil to the division, and if they keep it, well that’s evil to the world.

  • vinit

    Google should keep “Performics ” along with Double Click. It will defenietly be an evolution in current SEO/SEM scenario. Changes ever committed to revelutions.

  • Suresh Chowhan

    SEO/SEM is part of Google and Performics is a part of Double Click then how those can be separated. Google will continue with Performics to make much better its clients relationship.

  • James Harrison

    Great post. I Dugg it!


    Wal-Mart buries SEO industry.


  • SEO Ireland

    Great, soon Google will control every aspect of our lives.

  • Max Worton

    Well, Google are going to create to maintain its internet monoply, even if people try to catch up, by offering fast rewards.


  • Colin Boyd

    I didn’t realize that Google had bought a search marketing firm in that dell. This posts a year old does anyone know what they did do with Performics?

  • Satone

    I believe that when all is said and done, “Google will make the right decision by keeping Performics”. There has to be competition !, its in the best interest of all. By acquiring Performics the rest of the field will have to play by the rules of equity which will inturn keep Google in check thus creating an advertising win-fall for merchants with the other three competing top marketing companies. but then again Google really does not need Performics relevant of attracting new businesses but on a secondary scale would increase its percentage of traffic.

  • James Kertley

    Foundok.com provides you with an online facility from Dubai Hotels and brings you the best money-saving deals on as many as of dubai hotels we can.

  • SEO Consultant Service

    Like Google Adwords is not enough.

  • Professionelle Suchmaschinenoptimierung

    Google control every aspect of our lives yet;)

  • Optimizasyon

    Google will control us.

  • Dan Jenkins

    It is an aggressive strategy, I mean seo will allow them to have even more control

    Dan Jenkins
    Internet Marketing

  • Suchmaschinenoptimierung Kiel

    Google is control every corner of your life yet.

  • Ghostwriting

    Google betreibt eigene Politik

  • Whatsacoder

    King of Search Engine – Google
    Email – Gmail
    Ads – Adwords
    Blogs – Blogspot?
    now again… google reigns

  • pozycjonowanie

    Zapraszamy na naszą stronę.

  • Viscus

    Looks like someone is getting nervous. I think Google has taken this step because DoubleClick was confronting with Google’s interest. Since it is the largest SEO company of the world, it means it was well aware of Google’s algo and this was making Google go haywire.

  • Marketing Internetowy

    A that’s why I distrust Google.

  • Designer Katy TX

    And you have got to love the new Google Voice. Every day they come out with something new.

    I am having too much fun with it!

  • Website. designer in faridabad

    Thanks a lot …. this will really be very helpful and the matter of the fact is the whole content fall so smoothly at place …. make it very readable …. appreciate the effort.

  • rkmishraseo

    i agree with your suggestion because i really be very helpful for me thanks for you

  • Tiffany

    2 years on and what has happened? Did Google keep the company?

  • Arama Motoru Optimizasyonu

    Google would like to control everything. In my opinion,Google should be stay only a good Search Engine,not any other areas.

  • SEO Services Tampa

    Google is excellent. That’s a magic. Google Control everything in Web Technologies, Design & Web Marketing. Why another Search Engines are not aware. 🙂

  • Sean-Internet Beacon

    AdWords seems to be the better option. Owning an SEO firm while running the biggest search engine ever does also seem like a conflict of interest.

  • Sean-Internet Beacon

    AdWords seems to be the better option. Owning an SEO firm while running the biggest search engine ever does also seem like a conflict of interest.