Google has just announced that it will sell its Performics search marketing business to Paris-based Publicis Groupe. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2008. Google acquired Performics when it bought DoubleClick and after this deal closed in March, Google had already announced that it was going to split up Performics into a search marketing and an affiliate marketing division. Google rebranded the Performics affiliate marketing business in June, but hadn't announced any plans for the search marketing business until now.
Publicis Groupe is one of the world's largest advertising holding companies and is headquartered in Paris. Its portfolio ranges from traditional television, magazine, cinema, and radio advertising, to a number of agencies focused on Internet marketing. According to Google, this makes Publicis an ideal buyer for Performics.
Google obviously does not want to be in the search engine marketing business. This would create a constant conflict of interest inside Google and the company would hardly be able to keep up any appearance of objectivity.
As we reported in June, Google already rebranded the affiliate network side of Performics as the Google Affiliate Network. At that time, we noticed that this rebranding was only done half-heartedly, as Google basically only put a new store-front on the old Performics Affiliate Network. By now, the user interface has seen a refresh that is more in line with Google's regular properties.