Overture Category Archive
Yahoo! has announced that Overture, their text ad division, will be renamed Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions. Originally known as GoTo, the company became Overture in 2001. Yahoo! then bought Overture in 2003 and now starts the rebranding drive. The official U.S. name change is scheduled for the next few months with the international changes coming later.
Now AltaVista, AlltheWeb, Inktomi, and Overture are all owned by Yahoo! The press release quotes CEO Terry Semel, "We are excited to combine the two companies to build the largest position in the rapidly growing Internet advertising market." While the ad market is what pays for the search engines, the real question is which of these search engines will continue and at what sites? For now, AltaVista and AlltheWeb continue to be available at their historic locations, and they may share the same underlying database very soon. Already, AlltheWeb has lost a few search features like the URL Investigator no longer displaying the number for the links, but overall both still work with all of their old search features. Inktomi still is the back-end search engine at MSN Search and remains available at HotBot.
FindWhat, another ad bidding engine like Overture and Google AdWords, is buying up Espotting, an ad bidding engine that has focused on Europe, for about 8.1 million shares of FindWhat.com stock and about $27 million in cash for a combined valuation of about $163 million according to their US press release. The combination of the two may help FindWhat become a more serious competitor for the search engine ad space to the two big companies: Overture and Google.
On top of all the continuing confusion of acquisitions and ownerships changes in the search engine field, comes this one. Earlier this year Overture bought up AltaVista and the FAST Web Search business including AlltheWeb. That left FAST Search and Transfer with the FAST enterprise search business but not the public Web searching business. Now Overture is selling the AltaVista enterprise search portion of AltaVista to FAST. Confused? Try the FAST press release. But basically, Overture now owns the AltaVista and AlltheWeb and FAST public Web search engines. FAST Search & Transfer has the FAST and AltaVista enterprise search engines (for site search, intranet search, etc.).
Overture announces that it has wrapped up the deal to purchase AltaVista. It will be interesting to see what comes from the following quote: "Overture plans to develop a common platform for its new Web search product before the end of 2003 and will continue to operate both AltaVista and FAST's search engines separately until that time."
Overture announces that it has completed the acquisition of the Web search portion of FAST. So Overture now owns AlltheWeb. There is still only the press release about it on the Overture site and no detailed product information.
With all the other recent changes, this caught me totally by surprise. Remember Infoseek that became Go after Disney bought it? It dumped its own search engine back in March of 2001 and replaced it with straight Overture searches. Today it now says "Powered by Google" and gives both Google AdWords results and regular Google results. The Google steamroller moves on.
Another week, another acquisition. Last week, Overture announced plans to buy AltaVista. This week it announces the planned acquisition of the Web Search Unit of Fast Search & Transfer which includes AlltheWeb, FAST Web Search, and the FAST PartnerSite paid inclusion program. Purchase price is $70 million plus a performance-based cash incentive payment of up to $30 million over three years. See also the FAST press release.
Bear in mind that, at least for now, that AlltheWeb and AltaVista continue to have their own, separate database and their own unique search features. How this all will change in the future remains to be seen.
The advertising search engine Overture announced plans to acquire AltaVista. It's another interesting acquisition, although there are scant details on the long-term future of AltaVista. At least Overture has the money to support AltaVista and may be able to maintain the AltaVista database and improve it. With Yahoo's purchase of Inktomi, one obvious change may be that Overture's follow-up search engine will switch from Inktomi to AltaVista. This could also change sites like Go.com that use the Overture/Inktomi combination. But we'll have to wait to see what changes will actually happen. Overture has said that they plan to maintain AltaVista as a destination site.
FAST announces an agreement with Espotting (a paid ranking search engine like Overture). FAST will provide the general search engine results at Espotting's site after the paid ranking results. Also, the press release notes that "Espotting will provide their top three paid listings on AlltheWeb's European search results pages." So European searches will get Espotting "Sponsored Results" while the rest of the world will continue to see "Sponsored Results" from Overture. These are separate from teh regular search results at AlltheWeb. Apparently, the searcher location will be determined by top level domain origin of the searcher, so it will not always guess right.
Overture has stopped displaying the bid price on their results page. Formerly, if you ran a search at overture.com, you could see who had bid on the term and how much. That information is still available, but it is now only viewable from the "View Advertisers' Max Bids" link in the upper right hand corner. You have to re-enter your search and then add the security code displayed in a graphic. It is somewhat like AltaVistas submission code on their basic add URL service and probably is designed to prevent automated bid checking.
Sometime since Excite closed down on Dec. 17, 2001, the results changed. Now all the results on Excite are just straight Overture paid-positioning results followed by hits from Inktomi after the end of the paid hits. This replaced the Dogpile results that Excite showed initially.