Google acquires a conflict of interest

Google acquired DoubleClick this month. Which should be a good thing. But it looks like they acquired a conflict of interest too… They got quite the package deal:

Performics, the performance-based marketing division of DoubleClick, provides online marketing services and technologies for leading multi-channel marketers. Together, Performics and DoubleClick offer clients an unparalleled range of marketing solutions and are uniquely positioned to compare effectiveness across marketing channels for valued clients.

With this deal, Google owns Performics, the SEO arm of DoubleClick, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to let it go. It seems like there’s an ethical conflict when a search engine giant like Google gets into the search engine optimization business as well.

Together, Performics, DoubleClick and Google would be “uniquely positioned” to offer their customers prime search engine results. I’m not saying there’s anything sketchy going on… But this one sure looks like a duck. Quacks like one, too.