Monday, March 17, 2008

Fear of a Google Planet?

First the earth, then the moon, and now the sky – sometimes it really seems like Google wants it all

Just last week, Google announced its acquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1-billion, beating out rival bidder Microsoft. According to the New York Times, “The sale offers Google access to DoubleClick’s advertisement software and, more importantly, its relationships with Web publishers, advertisers and advertising agencies.” This gives Google clear entry into the display ads market and reinforces the company’s domination in the online advertising business.

One issue complicating the merger is that DoubleClick owns Performics, one of the largest SEO firms in the business. Some critics have suggested that this ownership poses a conflict-of-interest for Google and that the Internet juggernaut should quickly divest itself of the firm. For their part, Google says it has “no plans to dispose of it [Performics] at this time” and Performics says it will continue to “operate as a separate business unit as we review product integration opportunities.” The rest of the search industry will just have to wait and see.

For additional insight into Google’s plans for expansion (and for possible world domination), Mashable has a fantastic write-up on the ten markets Google wants to win. From search marketing and social networking to office software and mobile applications, the sky may not be the limit for Google.

Update - April 2, 2008 - Google announced that it will sell Performics to a third-party. Tom Phillips, director of DoubleClick integration, revealed in a statement on the Google blog,"It’s clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business. ... We believe this [the sale of Performics] will allow us to maintain objectivity and the search marketing business to continue to grow and innovate and serve its customers." This is sure to be a relief for many in the industry.

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