There is big news in the world of SEO and search marketing today (24th January 2010). Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are selling 10 million of their shares, raising $5.5bn (£3.4bn) at today’s prices. This is thought not to be hugely important, for search marketing at least, as they will still have a very big part to play at the search engine giant.

However, the stock sale means they will no longer have majority control. Their 59% voting rights will be reduced to 48% when the sale is completed. Shares will be sold over a period of five years to avoid hurting the stock price as much as possible. Ethical search marketing firms will be more interested in the shift in control at the firm rather than the actual sale of the shares. White-hat search marketing has been thriving in recent years, as retail and other emerging online sectors begin to take off on the internet. The shift in sale could lead to a shift in the focus at the search engine, but hopefully will not lead to wholesale changes on the search algorithm front.

“They are both as committed as ever to Google,” a spokeswoman said. “They are integrally involved in our day-to-day management and product strategy. The majority of their net worth remains with Google” she added.

The fact that the pair are ceding majority control is seen as more symbolic than practical. Mr Brin and Mr Page run Google together with the chief executive Eric Schmidt, who has 10% voting power. The five year time frame for the sale of the shares is, most likely, to mean that Google has a controlled and stable takeover period. With the expansion of Google into other markets, such as mobile phones and mapping software, this is definitely a good idea. Ethical search marketing for the world leading search engine is always going to be sought after, as Google wants to see search marketing done in the correct manner.

The Digital State Marketing will keep you informed of any changes.