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Businesses

Yahoo Buys Overture for $1.63 Billion 182

securitas writes "Today Yahoo announced it plans to buy search technology company Overture for $1.63 Billion. The move is seen as a way to compete with rivals like Google and MSN, especally in the paid search and advertising category. This takeover occurs following this article about Google and Overture's race to secure partners for its paid search advertising. Other reoprts at CNN Money, ZDNet/CNet, AP via the Washington Post, Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones via Yahoo. Press release at Overture and Yahoo."
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Yahoo Buys Overture for $1.63 Billion

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  • by luckybob83 ( 530490 ) <<tom> <at> <IHATESPAM_feltycc.net>> on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:30AM (#6434190) Homepage
    Where the heck did Yahoo get 1.63 Billion
    • Re:Yahoo -- Overture (Score:5, Informative)

      by rtaylor ( 70602 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:37AM (#6434263) Homepage
      Looks like it was mostly stock. See, once you're on the stock market, you have the ability to print money simply by 'creating' new stock.

      The problem comes when trying to sell it, as it is only worth what the next guy will buy it for.

      In reality, the deal was closer to 270 million in tangible (have it in your hands) money.
      • by BlueTrin ( 683373 )
        The problem comes also when:

        some people/businesses with really deep pockets is interested by your bussiness, as you emitted new shares, the part of the company that you and your associates are holding is lowered.

        your shareholders see that the value of their shares is going down

        everybody is realizing that you need money and they start to investigate on the validity of your projects

      • Remember that episode of the Simpons, where bart goes to work for a dot-com? The dot-com pays bart, and everybody else with shares of stock they keep on toilet paper rolls?

        It is just like that. Yahoo simply dilutes their stock another 5%. What the heck? Yahoo already way over 100 P/E.
    • by miratrix ( 601203 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:25PM (#6434653)
      I think the real question is what will Yahoo! do with all the search engines it now has. If I remember correctly, Yahoo! bought Inktomi not too long ago. Add Overture + FAST/Alltheweb + AltaVisa...

      It seems like the market is consolidating into Google vs. Yahoo! vs. Microsoft (There have been rumours of Microsoft developing its own algorithm-based search engine) and couple of other players like AskJeeves.
      • Overture is basically a PPC (Pay Per Click) element that you can tack on to any page or search result set (don't they currently use Inktomi?) but I agree that Yahoo seems to be accumulating an odd assortment of other search engines.
  • too late? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Is it too late, has google established such a name for itself that people won't try anything else?

    Altavist was popular but full of ads so it was easy to switch because google was ad-free.
    • So I've always wondered how Google makes enough money to support their 1000 machine cluster. How are they bankrolled?
    • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:02PM (#6434467) Journal
      It's not too late at all. First, consider how the different search engines changed in popularity over the years. Lycos was big for a while, Alta Vista...no need to list them. I remember getting an email from a friend..."Google has over a million pages indexed!". That was the big news, then I started using it. As have many others. Times can change. And they will. Just because Google is number one now doesn't mean they'll stay entrenched in that spot. It's not like buying software for your computer and then not wanting to switch because you'll have to buy new stuff. Plus, you can always TRY another search engine, and if it's better, then you switch and tell your friends.

      This is also interesting because of how all the different engines depend on each other in one way or another for their rankings.

      Think about how many web developers, designers, consultants, etc are all bragging about their search engine placement capabilities. Obviously it's the next thing to make money on. The big boys want to make sure they're in there as more and more people are relying on search engines for business.
  • What is the point of trying to improve the service? Just stick a few more things on the main page and release a few more of those lovely "Do you Yahoo?" commercials.
  • Oh, great. (Score:2, Funny)

    by gazbo ( 517111 )
    So Yahoo buys overture, then they buy Altavista. Meanwhile MS buys Google and they completely swarm Yahoo and so buy them out. Who knows where ebay fits into this whole thing?

    Is this the kind of monopolistic world we want?

    • Worse, Overture's already been gobbling up smaller search engines left and right.

      Fortunately, Google isn't publicly held. As the founders seem to be doing exceptionally well for themselves while enjoying what they do, there isn't much reason to sell. Unless they start to fear that they can't compete anymore or suddenly get itchy to retire, I don't think Google's going anywhere.

  • Yahoo! Buys! Overture! for! $1.63! Billion!!

    There.. .now it's fine.:-)
  • Did anyone notice how popular search engines have names that don't make any sense? What the hell is "Google" or "Yahoo!" (Yes I know google means something but it sounds like it fell out of a gooses ass.) on the other hand check out www.yahooters.com
    • Speaking off the top of my head, I seem to remember that Yahoo is an acronym: "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle", or something like that. If this were actually important, I'd probably have remembered the source as well.
    • Did anyone notice how popular search engines have names that don't make any sense? What the hell is "Google" or "Yahoo!"

      How many computer companies have names that make any sense? What do Apples have to do with computers? Is Oracle's database really a seer? Is Microsoft's software in any way "micro"? =)

      They're just names to catch your attention, to stick in your mind, and perhaps to become a word that does make sense (slowly "google" is becoming something of an synonym for "search", just like "xerox" on
      • Is Microsoft's software in any way "micro"?

        Before personal computers evolved from 8-bit microcomputers ("micros" for short) to the VAX clones we know and love, Microsoft was making software for micros.

    • What the hell is "Google" or "Yahoo!" (Yes I know google means something but it sounds like it fell out of a gooses ass.)

      The "Google" spelling is also used in "The Hitchhikers Guide
      to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams, in which one of Deep
      Thought's designers asks, "And are you not," said Fook,
      leaning anxiously foward, "a greater analyst than the
      Googleplex Star Thinker in the Seventh Galaxy of Light and
      Ingenuity which can calculate the trajectory of every single
      dust particle throughout a five-week Dangrabad Bet
    • Nonsensical business names have been around for awhile (Kodak, anyone?). Now that domain squatters have grabbed up all the real estate, names for companies will just get curiouser and curiouser. It's certainly more interesting than International Business Machines.
    • Yahoo is the name of some tribe / country / race in Jonathan Swift's novel "Gulliver's travels".
  • Yahoo is mad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jpsowin ( 325530 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:34AM (#6434224) Homepage
    Everyone used to use Yahoo. It was a verb, like many people use Google. "Do you Yahoo?" everyone said.

    But now the big mama has had her throne taken by another, and is hotly pursuing the rival. Yahoo just recently bought up Inktomi (which will be very interesting to see what happens if they dump Google's web search and integrate Inktomi... which is probably bound to happen soon).. and now they just ate up Overture for PPC.

    Yep. She's mad. But can she take back her place in the kingdom? I doubt it.
    • Re:Yahoo is mad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arkanes ( 521690 ) <arkanes@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:41AM (#6434295) Homepage
      I never heard anyone who wasn't in a Yahoo commercial use Yahoo as a verb. Ever.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:42AM (#6434300)
      Yahoo seems to have lost the search war. And that doesn't seem to be a problem. Their search engine is their least compelling feature right now (well, second least compelling, right after the shopping section).

      Yahoo!Mail has, at least from what I can see, displaced Hotmail as the General Free E-Mail Provider Of Choice. (It absolutely amazes me Microsoft.) Now, i'm not a marketing research agency-- ll i have to work with is single data points, but I never hear anyone say "check my Hotmail" anymore. I hear "Check my Yahoo!Mail" a lot. And it seems to me that all 5,634 of my 11-year-old sister's friends use Yahoo Mail. They seem to act as some kind of borg-like unified swarm. And Yahoo!IM seems set to lose that war in the long run, but they aren't doing bad, for now. Certainly doing better than MSN messenger. And their news service is passable.

      And all I know is, as long as Yahoo.com provides me a place where I can play scrabble on the internet, I'll keep coming back :P

      Basically, they seem to be turning into the first non-shit instance of this mythical "portal" thingy everyone kept talking about during the dot-com bubble. For that, they need A search functionality, but they don't necessarily need perfect search.

      (P.S. i don't know about you but i never heard ANYONE use 'yahoo' as a verb except in Yahoo.com advertising)

      Can they beat Google? Hell no, never. Can they beat MSN? I'd bet money that they will.
    • Re:Yahoo is mad (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 )
      The interesting irony is that if their results turn into Inktomi with Overture ads on top, that'll be exactly what GoTo.com, the company that eventually renamed itself Overture, was.
    • But now the big mama has had her throne taken by another, and is hotly pursuing the rival.

      To summarize:

      Google says "Do you google?"
      Yahoo enters Blind Rage!
      Yahoo shoots level 99 Fireball at Google.
      Yahoo Missed!

  • WHY? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aeinome ( 672135 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:34AM (#6434229) Journal
    MSN I can see competiting with, but Google? The best part about Google is the complete lack of picture ads. A much better use of all that money would be to get rid of advertising, which is all over Yahoo.
  • by presroi ( 657709 ) <neubau@presroi.de> on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:35AM (#6434243) Homepage
    I just checked news.google.com [google.com] and it says:
    Your search - Overture Yahoo - did not match any documents.
    No pages were found containing "Overture".

    Suggestions:
    - Make sure all words fit our corporate standards.
    - Try different companies.
    - Try more general keywords.
    - Try fewer annoyance.
    Also, you can browse today's headlines on the Google News homepage. There never was a company called Overture. Go away.
    • Re:news.google.com (Score:4, Informative)

      by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:49AM (#6434368) Homepage
      Big conspiracy, or just a hiccup in what Google calls a beta service?
      Let's just click on that link again:
      Searched news for Overture Yahoo. (BETA)
      Results 1 - 10 of about 344. Search took 1.59 seconds.

      Occam's razor, and all that

      --
      • Little conspiracy. It's been a long standing tactic in the search engine biz to block searches for one's own competitors. Afterall, using Google to look for Yahoo is asking the search engine a silly question, so why not give back an equally silly question.

        Think of it as an easter egg intentionally put into the search engines as a gag...
    • Whoah.... there's some whacky recursive shit going on here. Go do the search now and you get this:

      Yahoo Buys Overture for $1.63 Billion
      Slashdot-11 minutes ago ... by Jad LaFields (Score:2) Monday July 14, @11:37AM. Your search - Overture Yahoo
      - did not match any documents. Make sure all words fit our corporate standards. ...


      That's the text of your post, and the link points to this slashdot page as of 11 minutes ago!
  • by securitas ( 411694 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:35AM (#6434248) Homepage Journal


    Overture [corporate-ir.net] press release and the Yahoo Media Relations press release center [yahoo.com].

  • yahoo?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperDuG ( 134989 ) <be&eclec,tk> on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:36AM (#6434256) Homepage Journal
    Didn't yahoo just recently buy inkotomi? I mean geeze it's insane that a college project would even have the ability to pop 1.83 billion at another company.

    Anyways I remember with Yahoo was "partnered" with altavista and it became big enough to be it's own search, hell I remember there being a "search more..." that would link to hotbot and other search engines of the day. Then there was the "partnership" with google, who became big and started to innovate after yahoo promoted them.

    I think Yahoo needs to decide if it wants to be a portal or a search engine, because it's trying to be a one-stop-shop. You got games, music, movies, stock, travel, auctions, email, directions, and the kitchen sink. Is ad revenue really that big for these companies?

    I stopped using yahoo when I realized that google found what I needed quicker with more precise search words. In essence I switched from yahoo to google because google was better.

    Innovate don't just buy out the small fish, that practice is really old and sort of annoying.

    • Re:yahoo?? (Score:3, Insightful)

      > I think Yahoo needs to decide if it wants to be a portal or a search engine, because it's trying to be a one-stop-shop.

      I think you miss the point of diversification. Yahoo doesn't target the techno-literate as a primary customer base. If you ask your mother or uncle where they get their information, though, chances are good that Yahoo is still their home page. Consequently, it makes perfect sense for them to try to be "everything for everybody", even if they aren't the best at any of them.

      [snip]
    • I mean geeze it's insane that a college project would even have the ability to pop 1.83 billion at another company.

      Yahoo! is traded on the international stock market [yahoo.com] now, and has been since 1996. Have you been following the news lately?
    • In essence I switched from yahoo to google because google was better.

      Who needs facts these days? The reasons I switched:

      • Yahoo! reminds me of cowboys remind me of Country Music (yuk!)
      • Google reminds me of wacky eyes that rattle all over the place when you shake the head
      • Google has all those "oooooooo"
      • Yahoo has too much stuff on the first page (before search)
      • I'd rather google it than yahoo it. (sounds better)

      Remember: Joe Sixpack will never do an objective analysis.

  • by Shinzaburo ( 416221 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:37AM (#6434262) Homepage
    Yahoo should have saved its pennies. Sure, buying Overture improves its position in the paid placement portion of the search market, but what Yahoo really needs is a search function that is on par with Google. People have been defecting from using Yahoo as their primary search engine for years, and they're not about to come back unless Yahoo can offer search results that are comparable to Google.

    This acquisition isn't likely to help Yahoo do what it needs most: better searching. Until they achieve better search results, people are going to continue to defect to Google and its brethren.
    • Yahoo should have saved its pennies

      I'll tell you what I'm thinking, 1.6 Billion dollars, and they need the ad revenue from putting ads at the bottom of my yahoo e-mail account?

      • "1.6 Billion dollars, and they need the ad revenue from putting ads at the bottom of my yahoo e-mail account?"

        Yahoo gives you an email account for free, in exchange for showing you ads while you view mail and putting a two-line advertisement at the bottom of each email you send ("Do you Yahoo?!" and then one line advertising a particular service.)

        They also give you an option (priced at $19.95/year) that allows you to check your Yahoo email using POP3 and send your Yahoo email using SMTP, thus circumventi
        • Actually, the thing is, I *DO* pay the 19.95 per year AND another 25$ for the personal hosting, and I still have adverts in my webmail. I *COULD* use smtp to not have ads, but that really does defeat the convenance...
    • by nelsonal ( 549144 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:58AM (#6434441) Journal
      While Yahoo is using some of its cash, most of this transaction is stock, which is pretty cheap currency. It dilutes your current owners position, but they generally don't seem to mind. Tyco made a business out of doing little more than buying companies and issuing stock for almost a decade. This probably has pretty good cash returns, Overture pulled in about $50 million in cash last year, and Yahoo is only spending $300 million in cash, which is a heck of a lot beter than the 1%-2% money market returns Yahoo was getting on the cash.
      Also this is only about half their cash hoard, so they easily have enough to survive a very extended downturn. Their only major cash use is acquisitions, the core business generates cash.

    • Yahoo bought Inktomi not too long ago (which is working on its own Google killer) and Overture owns FAST which produces AllTheWeb.com

      Thus... Yahoo now has all it needs to produce Google-quality search results *and* a proven way to make money from it (i.e. step 3).

      -Russ
    • Yahoo gets its search results from Google and Overture. The results are displayed as such:

      1 Yahoo Listing
      1 - 3 Overture Listings
      N Google Results

      Since the bulk of Yahoo's listings are Google listings, I'm curious as to how they can not be considered "on par."

      It is intersting to see people berate web search when in reality 85% of results come from Google, Overture, and Inktomi no matter what site you are searching on - i.e. web search is already ubiquitous. I suppose it is proof that people are very influe
    • People have been defecting from using Yahoo as their primary search engine for years, and they're not about to come back unless Yahoo can offer search results that are comparable to Google.

      Yahoo's search results are (currently) provided by Google, and have been since 2000.

      They've been outsourcing and not using their own technology since at least 1996.

      More info can be found here [searchenginewatch.com]


    • I would argue that Yahoo! never really *had* a search engine. Their gig was creating an categorical index to sites, not pages. You are right in pointing out the deficiency in this approach, but if you think about how they got started, it makes sense that they never got around to it: they were a portal/start page from day one, and (I don't think) never really considered their options at trying to be anything else until very recently.

      The thing that bothers me about the Overture deal is that it's not even a
  • by Corvaith ( 538529 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:38AM (#6434266) Homepage
    I don't really use Google because it returns better results. I mean, it returns pretty good results. I manage to find what I need. But I really use Google because, while they do have advertising, their advertising is not obnoxious. It doesn't pop-up, blink, animate, or pretend to be legitimate search results or articles. It *does* occasionally actually pertain to what I'm looking for, as opposed to Yahoo's continued insistance that I need to lose weight and find a man... using, of course, the insanely-expensive Ediets and Yahoo! Personals.

    So, in the end, Google would win even if it took me a few minutes longer to find what I wanted, because I can *bear* spending a few minutes on Google. Ten seconds on Yahoo, and my eyes are bleeding.
    • It doesn't pop-up, blink, animate, or pretend to be legitimate search results or articles.
      While google does have paid links on the right, distinct from search results, they also will raise your rank for a fee. A former employer of mine swears by this -- she paid the couple-hundred-dollar fee (IIRC) and now she's the top link for searches in her industry. This has resulted in hundreds of new customer sign-ups, and has already paid for itself in a few month's time.

      --
    • You should get out more. There are tons of search engines which are quite clear about what are paid ads and what are not. There are tons of search engines which do text only ads. Indeed Overture owns one of them, and it's results are about as relevant as Google's.
  • by mnmlst ( 599134 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:38AM (#6434268) Homepage Journal

    According to this morning's Wall Street Journal, what we are seeing right now with the NASDAQ is consistent with previous boom and bust investment cycles. It seems that there is a big runup, a big fall, and about 2.5 to 3 years later, a revisiting of the now-despised investments. Eventually, that residual boom dies off too. The expert they cited in the story figures the NASDAQ will peak at around 2400, well above its current 1750-ish level.

    Before this is modded offtopic, what this means is that Yahoo!, which has enjoyed a tremendous runup in this recent boom now has some cash to invest. Looks like they are trying to do some expansion like back in the good ol' days when we had AOL buying Time Warner. Look for some other mergers and acquistions unless or until this boomlet ends.

    • expansion like back in the good ol' days when we had AOL buying Time Warner

      One would hope (or at least, Yahoo would hope) that this aquisition will turn out better than that one.

      So, is the WSJ saying that Yahoo has been having something of a turnaround, despite the poor economic climate?
  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:38AM (#6434275) Homepage Journal
    This is the latest in a series of buyout announcements that have come along in the last few weeks. It looks like the business community is preparing for economic recovery and these deals are meant to position themselves all the better for it. Most significantly, these deals are coming from several different industries:

    Peoplesoft & JD Edwards (software)
    Oracle & Peoplesoft (software)
    Lehman Brothers & Neuberger Berman (finance)
    Yellow Freight & Roadway (trucking)
    Boise Cascade & Office Max (office products)

    Let's see what the next few months bring, but the mood is definitely shifting.
    • It looks like the business community is preparing for economic recovery and these deals are meant to position themselves all the better for it...Let's see what the next few months bring, but the mood is definitely shifting.

      That's rather optimistic of you. Personally, I see it as a bunch of larger companies grabbing smaller (albeit annyoingly competitive) fish at fire-sale, economy-in-the-dumps prices in the hopes that less competition = lock on business sector. That is, I see less of a forward-looking o

      • The one thing I'd say in response is that these companies aren't really going for fire-sale prices. The market has had a strong runup over the last few months, and by all accounts could still be classified as highly valued.

        Your overall point is well taken, though - as the old saying goes, "the market has predicted 10 of the last 5 recoveries."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:43AM (#6434306)
    How come the search engine on overture.com says,"Powered by Inktomi" which is a Yahoo! company ?
  • Yahoo now *owns* (Score:5, Informative)

    by drgroove ( 631550 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:43AM (#6434309)
    Altavista, as Altavista was owned by Overture.

    http://www.altavista.com/about
  • Psh. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by paroneayea ( 642895 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:44AM (#6434323) Homepage
    It really shouldn't come as any surprise, but it looks like the search companies are just trying to push for more visitors, rather than focusing on a better product. It's this very same concept that made Yahoo become what is, in my opinon, it's biggest problem: bloatware. Let's face it, Google is the closest we have to a website that's really focused on being a search engine anymore. Hopefully this won't change anytime soon.
    • What's the point (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 )
      of a 'better product' unless there's more people using it? They're giving it away for free in hopes that people will view ads, so *of course* they want more visitors. If google had a $10/year version with no ads, I bet they'd make a load of money off that, AND save bandwidth and processing power (or fit more *real* results in the same bandwidth). Sadly, I suspect that anyone that did this would price it higher than most could afford. $9.95/year *feels* like a good price point to probably a majority of co
    • by X ( 1235 )
      Actually, Google is bloating like crazy. If you want "just search", I'd suggest you go for All The Web [alltheweb.com]. They're now owned by Overture, and the site is very focused on the web.

  • So, it's all about search engines, now, is it?

    Ok, but I'm still waiting on push technology, portals and b2whatever to revolutionize my web 'experience'(*).

    I will admit that I don't have any idea whether this makes good business sense, but my gut reaction is that Yahoo! is overpaying. In fact, I expect that this will throw them in the same leaky washbasin with AOL Time Warner, not Google.



    (*) Face it -- NONE of this is going to get any better until we stop using words like 'experience' and 'product' to describe this stuff. Marketing is the real evil!

  • by Ian 0x57 ( 688051 )
    ...google gives better results. If now yahoo gives better results i'll switch. The internet is my tool to help me find what i need to know, i'll use the best search engine who ever it is. As for advertising, yes it is nice to see so litle at google but i have learned to ignore all advertising now anyway. A page has them imbedded and I barely notice it.
  • I use Google... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by henriksh ( 683138 ) <hsh@freecode.dk> on Monday July 14, 2003 @11:57AM (#6434428) Homepage
    mainly because they have the usenet archives. There's just so much information there, that you can't get anywhere else.

    Also, it really helps that they don't have irritating ads, and that it renders great in lynx.

    How on earth is Yahoo!'s gonna compete with that? Seriously, I'd like to know. By using a state-of-the-art search engine? That's not going to cut it, not by a long shot.
    • Re:I use Google... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by greymond ( 539980 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:15PM (#6434561) Homepage Journal
      How on earth is Yahoo!'s gonna compete with that? Seriously, I'd like to know

      I'll tell you. When someone wants to search for something go ahead and use Google (it is the best search engine IMO).

      However, when someone wants to get a free email account, have someone host a free webpage for thier hobby, talk to people with similar interests in groups, or IM eachother they will use Yahoo Email, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo-Geocities, or Yahoo Messenger.

      Yahoo is more of a community based services provider, where as google is a great search engine. They cater to very different markets. I don't think Yahoo would really care if they were only the number 2 or even 5 best search engine as long as thier community stayed strong.
    • Yahoo has a near-monopoly on mailing lists, thanks to its purchases of bankrupt listservs. These usually have a higher S:N ration than Usenet, though many are "members-only": you have to join the list to see its archives.

      The Web-based interface is horrible (full-screen ad pages before every other message), but it's still possible to susbcribe and post to its lists without ever visiting the site.
  • Having used Overture, I can safely say that Google will remain the leader in search engine technology.

    Here's an example. Search for "linux" using Overture. [overture.com] The results are all paid results, worthless sludge like "training classes" and "hosting providers."

    Now search for "linux" using Google [google.com]. You get relevant, useful results with all sponsored links clearly separated from the good stuff. Of course, most people aren't as smart as me, so they might click the sponsored links. I remain convinced that Googl
    • by release7 ( 545012 )
      I don't think people Google is counting on people to mistakenly click the sponsored links. Otherwise, they wouldn't have taken the trouble to clearly label their links "Sponsored Links" and space them off from the other links. I've clicked sponsored links knowing full well they were paid advertisements simply because it looked like they had something I was interested in seeing. In fact, I've clicked on far more Google Sponsored Links than I have banner ads. Google is doing it right.
    • Sigh... perhaps you should go and work out what Overture is. It is not a "search engine" in the normal everyday sense of the word.
  • by release7 ( 545012 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:00PM (#6434453) Homepage Journal
    Can't really say anything intelligent about this buyout except that I got spooked out by that slow zoom the woman with the vacant stare with with those ominous dark clouds in the background? I think this merger is doomed.
  • I see people ranting about Yahoo's "bad search results" and how google is "better". It's relative. For searching through information that has been specifically published to a web page, google is better. But they're not resting there, and Yahoo has a couple legs up on google that they're not playing yet.

    Yahoo has loads more information about many users than google does, via the Yahoo personals, my yahoo, and other personalized services. If they can integrate some of that information into the search proc
    • > Yahoo has loads more information about many users than google does, via the Yahoo personals, my yahoo, and other personalized services. If they can integrate some of that information into the search process, they'll be the new search king.

      Because when I want to find out the default voltage of this Athlon XP based on its stepping as printed on the chip, and which bridges I need to cut to unlock the multiplier, I also wanna be sure the author of my solution is a h0t ch1x0r, age 19-25, with b1g h0

  • by sirrube ( 622137 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:19PM (#6434599) Homepage
    I currently use overture to advertise one of my online products. The fact is it would take so long to get my page up on the search rankings that I would miss loads potential revenue for people doing a search for my product. Using overture it costs me $.10 - 1.50 per click depending on the search but the coverage is really good. I pop up on sites I didnt even know existed and I get more downloads then I expected. It is a sad fact but this is the direction the web is going to go. You will have to pay to be seen on the internet or hope that you get the 20,000+ hits to your website to even start to rank in the search list.
  • Yahoo is buying Overture to start sandbagging for the oncoming search engine wars. The browser war may have been lost years ago, but the search engine war is just heating up. The camps are aligning... Who are you going to side with?
  • As with most everyone else here, Google is my web- searcher of choice. Years ago it was Yahoo, but that is no more.

    However, Yahoo is probably the site I use the most. They have tons of other features (news, games, (fantasy) sports, mail, address books, etc etc...), and most of them are free. I haven't found another site on the web that has anywhere near as many comprehensive and well-designed features as Yahoo. So, in the end, I couldn't care less about Yahoo's searching ability, because I don't think of Y
  • According to this [overture.com], Overture currently provides the related links on MSN. So instead of fostering competition with MSN, this deal means that MSN and Yahoo are business partners.
  • by justMichael ( 606509 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:24PM (#6434643) Homepage
    Yahoo! did not buy a "search engine" they purchased a company that provides a Pay Per Click advertising mechanism that is most likely very profitable. I can say that they they get a pretty good chunk of my advertising budget every month.

    These are examples from my business. Using the same basic keywords.

    google: $2.85 average cost per click
    overture: $.95 average cost per click

    Which one of those makes more sense to you from a business perspective?
  • by JKConsult ( 598845 ) on Monday July 14, 2003 @12:26PM (#6434666)
    With regard given to the poster above who noted that Overture owns Altavista (which means Y! now owns Altavista), this isn't about search engines, or Yahoo! competing with Google. This is about revenue. Overture doesn't compete in a single marketspace with Google. All they do is provide their particular brand of PPC advertising. The question that needs to be asked (or usually gets asked when a buyout is announced on /.) is "How does this affect the consumer"?

    Answer: It depends on who you're talking about. Overture is a wonderful thing to hand to a PHB to make him feel good. It has everything that PHBs love. Gambling, bluffing, seemingly high stakes, and best of all, it counts as "work". I'll never forget the look on my boss' face when I was leaving the company and told him that he would have to (read: get to) control the Overture listings. At that time, Overture had recently gone to a flexible pricing structure, meaning that if you bid $1.00 for a keyword, and your nearest competitor bid 75 cents, and the next bid 50 cents, you would pay 76 cents (1 penny more than the next highest bid), your competitor would pay 51 cents, et al. I was able to devise (at least, that's what I told him I did, after vast amounts of "research"; in reality, I think most dummies could figure this out) a plan. Storm into keywords with bids of upwards of $1.50, where the next highest bid would be in the 20 cent range. The companies bidding 20 cents aren't going to jump you up to $1.51, and you end up only actually paying 21 cents, while scaring off any serious bids to overtake you. Then, and here's where the gamesmanship and paying attention come in, if someone pulls the same thing on you, you bid $1.49 to their $1.50. Now every click costs your competitor $1.50, and only costs you 21 cents, even though you're in second. Bleed them dry. But watch out that they don't drop to $1.48 and turn the tables. My PHB loved this crap. He would sit and click refresh on the bid page just to make sure that Hated Company X wasn't pulling a fast one. Kept him off my back the last week I was there, and I'm sure he's still at it.

    All that said, I found Overture to be a gigantic money suck, apparently a good enough one that Yahoo! would like it for themselves. Any industry with decent penetration has enough competition that bidding will get ridiculously out of hand. And I had a pretty good idea that our paid-for-listings on the likes of Yahoo were just cannibalizing the clicks from our actual search listing on Yahoo, and costing us 50 cents a click. Overture may be pretty much idiot-proof, but there are any number of free and relatively easy ways to increase traffic, if you've just got a little time and energy to put into it. So, if Overture changes, or dies, or melds into Yahoo, the PHBs (and those who deal with them) may be disappointed, but those with the ability to do a little actual work shouldn't actually care.

  • Yahoo forks out $1.6 Billion in funny money for a worthless dot-bomb.

    Someone should tell Yahoo that it's not 1999 anymore. How long before we see Yahoo on the front page of F***edCompany?

  • Are there any non-commercial projects afoot to build a distributed web search engine? I found Grub [grub.org] , a SETI@home-like web crawler, but it seems to me that any commercial venture under sufficient financial pressure will eventually resort to paid listings.

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