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Overture takes over NineMSN from Looksmart

Around June 04' - you heard it first right here !

     
7:58 am on May 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe Overture will be taking over from Looksmart on NineMSN very soon and the anouncement is imminent - this will complete the destruction of Looksmart here in AU and give us a one stop shop to be seen - overture - it'll cost though.
12:54 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



That is a big call - sounds like you have some inside information.

Does make sense however. NineMSN will make more money from Overture than Looksmart and bring them into line with the majority of other MSN properties around the world.

Wonder what some of the other Australian players are going to do - i.e. Sensis. We haven't Sensis do anything with the assest they purchased from Looksmart.

I am just waiting for the contextual based adds to appear on searchs at WhitePages.com.au, Yellowpages.com.au and whereis.com.au.

Warren

1:49 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)



Good news if it does happen, IMO. Trying to set up a PPC campaign in AU from the UK with LS has been proving a pain in the butt! My Overture AU campaigns get approved within a few hours.
10:55 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I'm not too sure its a "one stop shop" yet, since Google has over 50% market share of Australian search traffic.

Plus I can't see Sensis taking the news lying down.

If dodger is on the money, I suspect there will be a Sensis announcement within a few weeks to clear up rumours of their death :)

11:22 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I was told the announcement would be last week so let's see what happens this week.

I'm not sure what Sensis can do about all this - they have Yellow pages which has good coverage but they'll never beat the combination of Google AU and NineMSN.

11:28 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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BTW I've noticed an MSN Bot on my site lately and I've never seen it before, anyone else have any clues on this?
12:06 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



MSNbot is still in Beta.

From what I hear from a varity of different sources, is we are not looking at anything until mid next year.

I have been keeping an eye on the jobs listed at the MS site and they haven't moved from technical to sales, PR or marketing type roles yet. When that happens, they will be getting closer to a launch.

With respect to Sensis, they will not take it lying down. And they have one advantage that the others don't have - a HUGE database of all the Small to Medium Businesses in Australia. They also have a sales force that is quite high pressure AND on the streets.

You don't need the best product or the furthest reach to sell if you have enough sales people to sell it for you. Especially if the product is new and confusing.

1:14 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I think that the Sensis search would be applied to the YP product first.

Try doing some basic key phrase searches on their site and it is almost useless. For example "Japanese Translation".

The revenue for NineMSN via LookSmart must be dropping now. Most people in the know (ok there would be many who don't) would not be placing advertising with Looksmart at the moment.

1:22 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



From my understanding, Sensis only purchased IP and assests from Looksmart.

From PR in January 2004:

“Sensis Pty Ltd today announced that it had acquired a range of
assets from LookSmart Ltd and its wholly-owned Australian subsidiary, LookSmart International Pty
Ltd.

The LookSmart assets, which are some of the best search tools in the market, will assist us to meet
our online business objectives whilst supporting both new and existing customer bases in Australia."

[sensis.com.au...]

What we haven't heard is what those assests were but I would guess they would include the context matching technology, bid management etc.

Sensis doesn't need a customer base - it has that already!

Whilst trolling the Sensis PR site for that link, I came across this release: [sensis.com.au...] and this quote:

"“Our aim is to position Sensis as the leading Australian interactive media and search company with a
particular focus on the consumer market. This challenge will be made easier with the roll out of a
tremendous portfolio of Sensis® voice, search and wireless products designed specifically with the
Australian consumer in mind."

Whilst the world may be dominated by the "big three" of Google/Yahoo!/MSN there is still going to be a lot of by country niche players out there. Of which Sensis is going to be one for Australia.

6:06 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That is bloody good news if it's true. Does that mean they'll remove the (sometimes horrible) Zeal results from ninemsn search?
7:19 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Its been a rumour inside the industry for a few weeks now - I heard that the official formal announcement will be tomorrow....
7:38 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I was told it would be last Thursday, let's see what happens tomorrow.
Changeover is expected in June - good news really.
This takes the stranglehold over premium listings away from Looksmart for good and at least market forces will dictate what we pay for listings rather then Looksmart who were always arrogant and and had a dictator type mentality.
11:53 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The announcement just came out a few minutes ago.

Extract:

SYDNEY, May 11, 2004: Overture Services, a provider of essential online marketing services, and ninemsn, Australia's number one online publisher, today announced a major distribution agreement that will see Overture's Pay for Performance (P4P)1 search advertisements listed across ninemsn from May 21, 2004.
12:11 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Where did you find this?
12:12 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



21st of MAY Wow - that's quick.

They must be twiddling their thumbs over at Looksmart, not a lot to do I imagine.

12:18 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I get press releases from many companies (Hon Editor of a major user group mag - not day job but I write for APC, PC User etc from time to time). This was one of them. I got into trouble for quoting a press release here once, so can't post it all here.
12:27 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If you are a Looksmart advertiser - you will get an email any minute.

Woz

12:30 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member woz is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yeah, anallawalla's right, we can't post copyright material. As soon as anyone finds a link feel free to post it, this is important news for the Australian market.

Onya
Woz

12:36 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Yeah, it's the 21st May. They've held this back for around a month and a half - for obvious reasons.

<edit>removed stat</edit>

[edited by: edit_g at 1:21 am (utc) on May 11, 2004]

12:50 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Don't know what happens to their paid inclusion listings and all that stuff. I guess they will stay in the NineMSN results till MSN gets their own engine up.
(I hope so anyway)
12:56 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)
1:17 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



May be now the general quality of the search results might improve as well.

The main thing is there is a proper method of reaching NineMSN searches, even if the search results are bad.

I thought it was interesting in the Looksmart Statement that Sensis will be the first Australian search engine?

What about Webwombat and others?

2:12 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Now lets hope Overture Australia drops the bull**it minimum 50c bids on money terms. In the long term they will will get a lot more money out of me if they do so.
2:18 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Overture Australia drops the bull**it

<rant>That's pretty much what Overture Au are IMO - bull**it. The customer service from Looksmart here has been great, always prompt and helpful. Best of all, the LS guys (and gals) know what they're on about. Not to mention the great ROI. I'll be doing my best to stick with them.

Overture send me huge lists of useless keywords every week or so and tell me that they're pre-approved, that's it. Thanks Overture.</rant>

5:42 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



First press article:
[australianit.news.com.au...]

Looks like Overture have grabbed the F2 relationship off Google at the same time. BRW and AFR are already showing a Yahoo logo where Google used to be.

5:54 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I rang Australian IT and tipped them off earlier today, the editor hardly seemed interested.

<<BRW and AFR are already showing a Yahoo logo where Google used to be.>>

Stuff all distribution there.

6:01 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Stuff all distribution there.

But significant due to they were Google's first Australian distribution partners.

No matter the traffic - its good to have distribution partners on the books, and it puts the onus on Google to slow Overture's momentum in this market.

11:46 pm on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Overture send me huge lists of useless keywords every week or so and tell me that they're pre-approved, that's it.

I only have dealings with OV US, which sends me nothing other than automatic $ top-up reports - what do you mean that OV AU sends you lists of keywords every week?

I rang Australian IT and tipped them off earlier today, the editor hardly seemed interested.

That could be because they would have got the press release before I did.

12:42 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Great call Dodger

Only problem with being in Perth is getting access to the "gossip" on the East Coast.

I have better sources in the US than I do in Sydney!

4:39 am on May 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



<<That could be because they would have got the press release before I did>>

They didn't know anything about it when I called - I suggested it might be a good story for them - response, luke warm.

Warren - but you have good beer in Perth I'm told so that makes up for it :)

This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38
 

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