Google to sell Performics, service to boost ranking

Facing prickly questions about possible conflicts of interest, Google Inc. will sell a service called Performics – acquired as part of DoubleClick Inc. – that helps websites improve their ranking on Google’s search engine.

The decision, announced Wednesday, comes three weeks after the search leader’s US$3.2 billion takeover of online ad service DoubleClick.

Owning Performics thrust Google into an uncomfortable position because the service devises technical tricks to highlight websites among the non-advertising results of searches.

That part of Performics’ business threatened to break Google’s long-standing vow not to allow cash to influence the order of the so-called “organic” links featured in the centre of its results page. (link)

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