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Monday, March 24, 2008

Google Officially Owns an SEO Firm: What’s Next?

Posted by @ 8:09 pm

Now that the European Commission has finally approved Google’s DoubleClick acquisition, what will Google do? In case you were unaware, Google’s lengthy $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, means they now own the SEO firm, Performics.

So now Google owns a firm that can help businesses improve their ranking on Google. Confusing? Yes. Conflict of interest? You bet. When Google went public they made it clear they had no intention of operating a paid inclusion or ranking solution, by issuing the following statements in their IPO:

“We do not accept money for search result ranking or inclusion” and
“Our search results will be objective and we will not accept payment for inclusion”

However the Performics acquisition now changes this and means in a way, they do accept payment for ranking and/or inclusion. While they still don’t accept direct inclusion into Google, some of Performics services are designed to improve your search engine ranking, and they do offer paid inclusion services with Yahoo!.

Whichever way you look at it, Google offering SEO services is just messy. It raises a whole bunch of questions without immediate answers and many are calling for Google to divest themselves from the company. Popular SEO blogger Danny Sullivan asked Google for a comment on the issue and received the following reply:

“We intend to spend the next several months assessing all of DoubleClick’s products and services including those offered by Performics. In the near term, we intend to operate Performics as a stand-alone business unit consistent with its past practices. Upon the completion of our integration planning with respect to Performics, we will be in a better position to announce our future plans for this business.”

So I guess we will hear an answer from Google in the next couple of months about their plans for the company, lets hope they do the right thing.

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Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

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