Google Industrial Espionage: They Have A Mole At Twitter!

Seems Google is getting information about senior employees being recruited by Twitter, in order to make counter offers, TechCrunch reported.

Google offered about $150 million to keep two senior product managers offered the chief product role at Twitter earlier this year (though Business Insider claims those numbers are "tens of millions of dollars off" -- but huge numbers regardless of the exact dollar figures).

"There's lots to say about the statement Google is making with these counteroffers. "Don't mess with us," comes to mind. As well as "If you're a Google employee and you aren't out interviewing at Facebook, Twitter or Zynga you are a moron."

Regardless, the fact that large fortunes are being handed out to mid level technical managers is somewhat of a red flag in general. That kind of money is usually reserved for founders of companies that make it to IPO. Actually, most IPO founders make substantially less than that." TechCrunch reported.

Meanwhile, the information Google is getting access to suggests someone at Twitter is sharing information. Twitter had a problem with leaked info a couple of years ago when their internal strategy meeting notes were made public and Google may have started taking notice.

"Much of the discussion at Twitter meetings throughout the past six months revolved around dealing with Google and Facebook. In a March 13, 2009 management meeting, for example, during a discussion of a search deal with Google, the fear is expressed that "Google would kick our ass at finding the good tweet." But almost immediately afterwards, someone asks, "Can we do to Google what Google has done to others?"

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.