Sure enough, that's exactly what's going to happen, according to the lastest email from Performics:
As you are aware, Google closed its acquisition of DoubleClick on March 11, 2008. Since that time, we have been actively involved in integration planning for each of our products and business units. We have recently completed this process for the DoubleClick Performics business.
As a result of our planning, we are formally splitting DoubleClick Performics into two separately-run business units - Affiliate Marketing and Search Marketing. We plan to integrate the Affiliate Marketing business into existing Google operations, providing enhanced value and reach for our Affiliate advertisers and additional tools and monetization opportunities for our publishers. We plan to sell the Search Marketing business unit to a third party. In Europe, these plans and their implications for our employees are subject to consultation with staff and employee representatives, where applicable.
During this transition, we will ensure that customers receive the same high level of service that they have always experienced. For those of you who have DoubleClick Performics relationships that include both Search and Affiliate Marketing services, we will assign separate account teams for each service. We will contact you shortly with more information regarding your assigned account team.
The Search Marketing business will continue to run as a separate entity until the division is sold. All client data will, of course, be kept confidential. Please contact your
Search account manager for additional information.
We plan to continue to aggressively invest in and grow our Search Marketing business during this period of transition, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with each of our Search clients.
Thank you for your continued support of DoubleClick Performics.
So there you have it. Google won't be competing with us SEOs after all. At least not as an SEO/SEM firm themselves. Just like I suspected would happen.