Google offloads Performics division

Publicis Groupe plans to give its new ad technology platform a boost by acquiring Performics from Google.

Publicis Groupe plans to strengthen its new VivaKi Nerve Center ad technology platform by purchasing Google's Performics search marketing division, the companies announced Wednesday.

In June, Publicis announced that it was building VivaKi to simplify how companies purchase Web and mobile ads and that backing the project were Internet giants Google, Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Google had indicated in April its intention to divest itself of Performics, a part of DoubleClick, which Google acquired in March for US$3.1 billion.

VivaKi's goal is to provide a single point of contact for advertisers to access publishers, ad networks and ad exchanges, according to Publicis.

Publicis, based in Paris, expects the Performics acquisition deal to close this quarter. Performics is 10 years old and has a staff of almost 200 search marketing specialists.

For Google, owning Performics has put it in the uncomfortable position of providing search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) services. Google has traditionally partnered with independent SEO and SEM firms, and Performics has made it a competitor to them. When Google purchased DoubleClick, it retained Performics' affiliate marketing business and integrated it into existing Google operations.

SEO and SEM firms, which provide services for improving Web sites' search-engine rankings and running effective search-engine ad campaigns, have been vocal about their displeasure at having Google, until now a partner, turned into a competitor via Performics.

SEO firms have been concerned that Performics would get special access to inside information about Google's search-engine algorithms, putting them at a disadvantage. Meanwhile, SEM firms fretted that Google would push its in-house Performics SEM services at highly discounted prices, or maybe even for free.

Critics also suggested that Performics clients would not be well served. Performics is supposed to get its clients the highest return on investment from their paid search campaigns -- spending as little as necessary to achieve their goals. But Google's business is to sell as much advertising as possible.

The Performics SEO services also has put Google in the business of taking money from clients in exchange for helping them rank better in search-engine results, something Google had always vowed not to do. Moreover, Performics provides paid inclusion services into search engines that engage in this practice, in which a company pays a search engine to include its Web site in its index. Google has always been highly critical of paid inclusion services, and doesn't offer them.

"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," wrote Tom Phillips, director of the DoubleClick integration process, in an official blog posting back in April.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?