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Google sells search marketing group

The search giant planned to sell off its Performics group, and now it's found a buyer: French firm Publicis Groupe.

Google has found a buyer, Publicis Groupe, for the Performics search marketing group it inherited during its $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick.

Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.
Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Stephen Shankland/CNET

The group specialized in tasks such as helping Web sites rank high on search results, and Google said planned to sell Performics. "It's clear to us that we do not want to be in the search engine marketing business. Maintaining objectivity in both search and advertising is paramount to Google's mission and core to the trust we ask from our users. For this reason, we plan to sell the Performics search marketing business to a third party. We believe this will allow us to maintain objectivity and the search marketing business to continue to grow and innovate and serve its customers," the company said on its blog in April.

Terms of the acquisition weren't announced. DoubleClick bought Performics for $58 million in 2004.

Publicis Groupe, a 44,000-employee French company, said the 200 Performics employees will become part of its VivaKi Nerve Center