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Overture buying Alta Vista

$140 million is the price

     
9:41 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Read all about it [cbs.marketwatch.com]

Overture is to buy Alta Vista for $140 million.

Guess this is one of the "enhancements" we were told would happen as part of the sweetener for 10 cent minimum bids.

9:45 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Expect the backfill to change from Ink to AV.
9:46 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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$140 Million? Wow. That is suprisingly high. $80 mil in stock and $60 mil in cash.
9:49 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Call me shocked!?!?!?!?!

I am indeed shocked. Can the face of search change anymore rapidly than it is of late? Wow.

9:50 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Big news. What are the main implications then?

Nick

9:50 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I was surprised at the amount of cash involved, normally these deals are almost always done in shares.
9:54 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Whoa! Are they attacking Google?
At least this is very tough competition for Fast and Ink. But they should be able to compete for portal partnerships with Google too.
9:56 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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wow, that's good stuff. Maybe we can have a couple of major players again.
9:58 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Overture said it plans to use the AltaVista Web site as a way to test new search services and marketing products for its advertiser

Ouch, AV. From king of the hill to labrat?
9:59 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wauw! I wonder what will happen to all the OV partners?

How will Yahoo feel now that one of their prime partners owns their own search engine?

10:00 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does this mean that AV will deliver search to Overture partners? And where does Yahoo/Inktomi fit in?

Torben

10:01 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wow. That is amazing.

he he, Altavista what? Oh, that thing Overture just bought for a song. :)

10:04 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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So who can remember how to optimize for AV?
10:04 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Does this makes them a competitor with Yahoo and MSN, instead of a partner?

Will Yahoo merge Altavista backfill with the Ink backfill?

Will MSN dump the Ink backfill in favor of Altavista?

Oh brother! This is worse than a soap opera.

10:10 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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and we complain about Overture and $3 worth of fraudulent clicks.

imagine how AV must be feeling, considering where they were at 1 stage in dot .com history.

its a shame, i am telling you, big shame.

Shak

10:12 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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AltaVista's ... suite of search-related technology patents will help support Overture's entry into algorithmic search.

added emphasis
10:13 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Wasn't AV once the Dallas Cowboys of the search world? oh, wait, they still are, never mind. 8^)
10:17 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Company not very good at search buys another company not very good at search, not the best of headlines.
10:18 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What are they going to do with all those patents, though?

Weren't some of the 'dodgy' at best...? Like the one for spidering / indexing the web :)

I can't wait to see what happens if they (overture) tries to enforce any of those things...valuation -> down. imho.

<added>

Perfect headline, NFFC. Just fantastic.</added>

10:23 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Company not very good at search buys another company not very good at search

Amen to that! Who was it that predicted that the Yahoo purchase of InkTomi was a sign of things to come!

MSN - your turn now!

10:38 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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How is this going to affect the SEO World? More and more search engines competing for their market share. Rather than optimizing for one search enging (!PageRank), is it going to be necessary to consider each search engine's characteristics?

Is AltaVista going to be as big as it once used to be?

We'll see what the future brings!

10:41 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Another shake up!

How the mighty have fallen...

Excite nothing but a URL now...
AV now Overtures....
Lycos powered by outside technology (FAST)...
Inktomi now Yahoo's...

Can only be good to have competition to Google in the medium term, but right now:

AltaVista France, Spain & Italy use Espotting now - when will that end? I guess Overture will get out of the French deal ASAP (where they are live) and wait until ready to launch in the other two - with a guaranteed source of traffic from day one.

So in terms of providing full search solutions to sites there are now:

- Google search, Open Dir implementation & ad words PPC
- Altavista search & Overture PPC
- Yahoo directory, Inktomi search (Yahoo has US PPC with Overture, European PPC with Espotting)
- Fast search (US PPC with Overture, European PPC Espotting)
- LookSmart directory/Wise nut search in the US (with Japan and UK offerings too)
- Ask Jeeves/Teoma search in US and UK

When was the last time anybody here optimised for AltaVista?

10:42 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Overture can obviously use the % they used to pay AltaVista ,and instead use that money to promote the search engine while making 100% of the CPC.

All getting very interesting now, on how the future may look, especially in terms of driving traffic from search engines.

My s still with the big "G", at least with them your money actually gets you results.

Shak

10:50 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Overture said it plans to enhance AltaVista's paid inclusion products and offer its advertisers additional high-return marketing vehicles intended to drive targeted customer leads.

Overture press release [corporate-ir.net]

10:52 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Will MSN dump the Ink backfill in favor of Altavista?

I think so.

11:00 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Purely speculative, but indeed I'm waiting for MSN to move. How long are they going to wait?
11:13 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My guess is the move is more to do with market valuation than anything else. OV is seen by the markets has little more than "broker" status with mostly 3rd party non exclusive contracts on short term contracts".

In terms of valuation models this is not good for them.

By adding AV they add a brand that has a known "product/service" that they will own and thus they can present themselves in a way that will increase the model used to value them.

Clever move IMO so long as they don't lose revenue from other SE's dropping them.

For us I guess it means another nail in effective SEO.

11:22 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>valuation
I think one of the most influential news in the search and portal market has been the turnaround at Yahoo.com. Everybody attributed this to Overture revenue.

I suppose OV has very good cards to get portal deals right now. Now imagine they offer portals the full package, with revenue from PFI, XML feeds plus PPC. Many portals don't care too much for quality results.

11:35 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This is something I did not forsee. Looks like OVER pay be positioning to compete with Yahoo and Google....or be bought by MS.
11:41 pm on Feb 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I used it for bablefish

Maybe therein lies another of the hidden treasures. Overture are extremely active in expanding into Europe and many of us non-native speaking people have used Babelfish as a way of getting some sort of handle on translating words into foreign languages (plus it's a fun game to play), rather than trying to use native tongue speakers.

As much as I am not a big fan of AV currently, they do have some interesting and innovative tools that encourage people to expand their thinking and as a bolt on to the Overture suggestion tool it's a useful piece of kit to get more keywords into an advertisers account and therfore more money into Overture's pot, and if they don't have to share the revenue with AV any more because they own the site it will help to bring their overall acquisition costs down a bit and give them a little bit more leverage with current partners and much more leverage in brokering new deals, it's a ready made testing ground for toys.

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