Google Changing Tune on Performics?

Since Google announced its intention to acquire DoubleClick, the industry has been buzzing with speculation about what would happen to Performics, the search and affiliate marketing agency side of DoubleClick.

In a FAQ issued when it announced the news last week, Google had said, “Performics is part of DoubleClick, and we are acquiring it as part of the transaction. We have no plans to dispose of it at this time.”

A check of that same FAQ today reveals a different statement on Performics:

What will Google do with Performics?
A. They have built a strong business that is valued by their clients, and we will be evaluating all strategic alternatives for this business. We are committed to continuing to meet the needs of Performics clients, and we expect no interruption in service during this transition. Google has many important agency, SEM, and other partner relationships, and we continue to value those relationships.

That’s a bit more realistic, as the idea of Google owning a large SEM firm raises several issues around potential conflicts of interest. It looks like the document was updated on Friday afternoon.

Some people had been speculating that Google would simply shut Performics down, which doesn’t seem to make sense, on the face of it. Performics’ president Stuart Frankel has been busy debunking these rumors, issuing a statement to Pepperjam blog and others saying the company has no plans to shut down.

Let me make this absolutely clear. We are not dissolving or shutting down or significantly altering the Performics business. To the contrary, we continue to actively build our core affiliate and search business units. In fact, we are currently recruiting for 25 open positions across all areas of Performics.

His statement doesn’t mention any potential sale of Performics by Google, which doesn’t really say much, since the acquisition has not gone through yet, so there would be no way he could talk about those plans.

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