News that Google is to sell Performics comes as no suprise and is welcomed by pretty much everybody.
However the rumour that Google might be about to buy Expedia (owners of TripAdvisor) is slightly more worrying. The problem is that TripAdvisor and Expedia get a HUGE amount of traffic from Google and there is bound to be a conflict of interest either real or perceived if Google owns these properties.
Imagine if TripAdvisor was to start getting higher search rankings, what would their competitors say? It wouldn’t do any good for Google and it certainly wouldn’t be good for the search industry as a whole. Most people are not aware of how Google works and it wouldn’t take much for the rumour that “site x ranks highly because Google owns it” to spread round.
Personally I think that Google owning any sites that rely on search traffic (such as Expedia) is a mistake.