Danny Sullivan reminds me of a story that’s more than a year old – Open Letter To Google: Do The Right Thing, Divest Yourself Of Performics.
“…Google owns DoubleClick. In doing so, the company has done something else that many people would have never believed possible. Become an SEO. That’s right — Google’s in the SEO business now, selling services through DoubleClick’s Performics to people who want to rank well on — um — Google. Conflict of interest? You bet.”
I think the Performics thing is more of an oversight – I’m sure they’ll get rid of it ASAP now they own the company. On the other hand, if they didn’t sell it, and somehow kept Peformics, then it would inflame the SEO Community – something that Google already has been doing for a while (which they seem, at times, to want to do).
I do believe they’ll get rid of Performics, but not because it’s a conflict of interest (I’m not sure Google even knows for sure what Google is anymore – except it’s far more than a Search Engine – by that thinking – maybe Google doesn’t really think there is any conflict of interest) – I think they’ll get rid of it because most SEO has gone In House and it’s probably not profitable enough to continue to run that business (what does Google gain by keeping Performics – nothing).
In short, Google will sell Performics because it has nothing to gain by keeping it – I personally don’t think Google cares if you or I or Danny Sullivan thinks there’s conflicts of Interest.