Google to sell off DoubleClick's Performics unit

Company says it doesn't want to be in the search marketing business

Google Inc. is selling off Performics, the search-engine marketing division of recently acquired DoubleClick Inc.

"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," said Tom Phillips, director of DoubleClick integration, in a blog post. "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."

Phillps said Google decided to sell the Performics business because it didn't want to be in the search-engine marketing business. He said Google wants to maintain its objectivity in both search and advertising. Search-engine marketers help companies boost their online advertising rankings.

After Google acquired DoubleClick, other search-engine marketing and optimization companies grew concerned that they would now have to compete with Google.

"We believe this will allow us to maintain objectivity and the search-marketing business to continue to grow and innovate and serve its customers," Phillips said in the blog.

Phillips said Google has not identified a buyer, but some of its current partners have expressed interest. Until the search-marketing unit is sold, Phillips said it will continue to run as a separate entity. He said Google plans to integrate the affiliate marketing business into Google's operations.

In another development stemming from the DoubleClick acquisition, Google yesterday said it was laying off or offering contract jobs to 300 U.S. DoubleClick employees.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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