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GoTo changes its name
It's Overture.com from October 8

 10:29 am on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

GoTo will change its name to Overture on October 8.

I know that they have been afraid that GoTo could be mixed up with names like Go2 and Go, but still, I really don't see the point in changing a well known and popular brand.

According to the press release "Overture was chosen based on its ability to communicate the company's compelling advertiser and affiliate partner benefits. One definition of "overture" is an introduction, and, therefore, it is a metaphor for the targeted introductions the company facilitates between its 45,000 advertisers and the 62.5 million consumers who use its tens of thousands of affiliate partner sites."

The [overture.com...] site will redirect you to the press release.



 10:36 am on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Have they dropped their keyword suggestion tool? I couldn't get it at all yesterday.


 10:44 am on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

works now, and yes - it wasn't yesterday.



 11:39 am on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing Per.


 11:49 am on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thank you perkoch,

I agree with you that changing the brand name at this point is rather senseless. The replacement brand name does not have the same punch.


 1:01 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

And sometimes dangerous look at what's happened to Jiff V Siff in the UK, how to turn a household cleaning product that's been used by many happy husbands :) to clean the kitchen, into a product that no ones heard off, or buy's


 1:12 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Maybe GoTo hired the guy who developed "new Coke" after CocaCola fired him. United Airlines did something like this a few years ago, and then backed away. Why on earth would a company that was coming into its own as a brand abandon years of goodwill?

What they really need is some good advertising. Maybe the people who did the mystifying Accenture (formerly Anderson Consulting) ads can help them out... ;)


 2:31 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Absolutely bizarre - completely defies common sense. GoTo is an extraordinary name; its catchy, short, descriptive of the service provided, highly memorable - everything a good name should be and more besides.

They clearly have too much money - rebranding will cost them millions.

I would love to have heard the board of directors discussing this initiative.

We might be reading about this in 5 years time, when it appears as one of the most ill-advised, unwarranted and unsuccessful rebranding exercises of our time.

The next initiative will be to stop using the GoTo domain name as a redirect to their new site! My God, I'd love to see them try.



 2:46 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

I gotta agree with DS, that all the change is going to do is point out the fact to more people that they are an advertising engine instead of information/research based engine.


 3:53 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Why do major search engines keep insisting on shooting themselves in the foot?

I'll bet the average websurfer can't even spell overture.


 6:34 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Thanks volatilelegx for branding me an average surfer:)

It must be some kind of virus. Accenture, Overture, wonder what the next "ture" will be...


 7:15 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

LOL. "goture.com" that's the ticket.

This has got to be one of the goofiest moves I have ever heard of. Watch them self destruct as the confuse themselves and everybody else as to what their purpose is.


 7:16 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Ok, I didn't look into this too much, but I don't see it as shooting themselves in the foot. I doubt that they will be throwing goto.com away or even using it as a redirection system. I suspect goto.com will remain overture's search engine and overture.com will be the advertiser site. Much the same way as inktomi worked. There was no search engine on inktomi.com, just information for clients who wanted to buy the database. Worked fine, even helped keep things organized. Or look at BeFree affiliate technologies. befree.com is for advertisers and is not terribly memorable since most of that transaction does not go on through a web interface, whereas reporting.net is for their affiliates and is a catchy easy to remember domain for affiliate reporting.


 8:03 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

it looks like GoTO may have just recently bought the domain name (unless they just renewed it) because it is dated:

Record created on 27-Aug-2001

I think we would all agree with GoTo that it was a good move to change their name/domain if WE HAD SOLD IT TO THEM...


 8:51 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

Here is a excerpt from an email I just received from GoTo about the name change:

"Dear GoTo Advertiser:

We're excited to let you know that, effective October 8th, GoTo will become Overture Services, Inc. This new name reaffirms our market leadership in Pay-For-Performance search and online marketing.

Although our name will change, the quality and volume of targeted leads will stay as strong as ever. More than 95% of the traffic you currently receive from GoTo is delivered from our extensive network of partners, including America Online, Terra Lycos and AltaVista. The remaining traffic, which comes from users visiting the GoTo homepage (www.goto.com) will automatically be redirected to Overture's new homepage beginning in October."

Looks like the search traffic will be redirected to overture.com and not stay on goto.com. Very dumb move if you ask me.


 10:18 pm on Sep 10, 2001 (gmt 0)

"Risks That Could Affect Our Financial Condition and Results of Operations" in GoTo's June 30, 2001 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Certain statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the Company’s name and stock symbol and the change to the new name and stock symbol, financial and operating performance and agreements with distribution affiliates and statements regarding advertiser and affiliates in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are inherently uncertain. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to risks such as the risk that the Company’s key performance metrics, including overall traffic and use of the Company’s services, number of paid clicks, average price per paid click, number of advertisers and average spend per advertiser might not continue to increase at historical rates; the risk that consumers may not appreciate the Company’s search service; the risk that the Company’s affiliates, advertisers, partners and investors may not recognize the Company’s new name or ticker symbol, associate the Overture name with the Company’s historical business or associate the Overture name with its intended message; the risk that the Company may not have exclusive rights to the Overture name or Web site or be able to defend the Overture name or Web site against other users, the risk that the cost of the name change may be more than expected and the risk that affiliates may continue to perceive the Company as a consumer destination site.


 3:39 am on Sep 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

This sounds like one of the dumbest business moves I have ever heard of. Can you imagine McDonalds changing it's name to something like FastFood Inc or Tom Cruise changing his name to Danny Smith. Who runs goto? This is really laughable.


 3:54 am on Sep 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

I don't know where Goto is going with this but changing their well known name to something new and unknown sounds like a good way to get their ship sinking. Dunno.


 4:05 am on Sep 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Goto was much better - short, easy to remember, 2 syllables, as opposed to 3, and in a round about way described the service. Overture is longer (to say and to type), not memorable, harder to spell, doesn't have the same ring to it. Most people have heard of GoTo, but how many clients are going to see "Overture" in an ad proposal and go what the heck is that? Start snapping up all the possible mis-spellings and typos now, there will probably be plenty.

Anderson Consulting was kind of an old stodgy name and Accenture could be an improvement over the long term, but no this.


 8:32 am on Sep 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

Particularly strange considering the marketing effort they have undertaking recently for 'GoTo'.

I have had clients who don't know a search engine from a petrol engine asking me for more info about GoTo because of their marketing efforts.

Now, with growing awareness, they change their name. I will look with interest how they will market this new 'brand'.

:)Let's hope they don't use a 'Meta Refresh' to redirect to their new domain, because as we all know, Meta redirects are banned by most major search engines. Surely this will result in all their 'partners' banning their new site!! (if only...):)


 6:13 pm on Sep 11, 2001 (gmt 0)

ovature.com, overchur.com, ovachur.com, ovatur.com

all registered by Goto.com ... not sure any of the ones left are worth even $10 ;)

Also agree this name sucks, I'm not sure that I'll be renewing my "overture" account.


 2:52 pm on Sep 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

wonder what the next "ture" will be...

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