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MSN Dropped Overture Listings?



2:27 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My listings are not showing up on MSN Search.

Did MSN drop Overture? Has anyone else experienced this?

Any insight is appreciated!


2:31 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not sure, but the "improvements" to their system, and downtime may play a part in loss of OV listings.


11:43 pm on May 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

MSN shows the Overture listings for some of the keywords I manage, but it doesn't show any listings for others. This is not something new in the last month. It's been going on for a while. I'm not sure when the switch was made, because I always used to think that if you were in the top 3 listings on Overture, you'd appear at the top of the MSN results.

I have since learned to check words before buying them on Overture. I check to see if the ads will appear on MSN at all, and whether Yahoo shows 2 or 4 results at the top of its results page.


7:51 am on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


That's a good idea. I'll have to start the same pracice.

But I've checked MSN for my and several other keywords, and there are 1 or 2 "featured" sites from ABOUT and a couple slightly related from MSN sites (like shopping at MSN, MSN 8.0, etc.)

For example, "web development" provides two sites (#1 and #4 from ABOUT) and that's it. The rest seems to be just MSN regular search results.

Anyone know what's going on? After all, MSN is a top 5 property...

john vermont

3:41 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

msn shows only the top 3 listings from overture for my keywords. the next set of search results are from looksmart paid listings.

i get better results and cheaper from looksmart...the description you submit to them is critical for good search results


9:54 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can someone provide me a list of several keywords for which Overture listings do appear on MSN Search?

I've looked at many (way too many perhaps) different keyword sets and none of them are showing up (regardless of the position)!

This is really confusing.


10:15 pm on May 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

Hey Dmitri010,

I stickied you a couple of terms that are showing on both MSN and Overture but now that I went back and looked at the keyword phrase above the top 3 Overture results *are* showing on MSN under "Sponsored Sites" right where there're supposed to.

>>two sites (#1 and #4 from ABOUT)

The sites aren't from about.com, read that link as "About Featured Sites" [help.msn.com] or "About Sponsored Sites." [help.msn.com]



2:00 pm on May 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Thanks for the Sticky. At least some one is getting MSN exposure. I've checked some more of mine listings and they are not there... Waiting to hear from Overture...

Thanks for you help!


4:24 pm on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The reason why my listings are not showing up on MSN is because:

"In the case of MSN, only listings for selected terms relating to the following general categories are displayed:

- Computing
- Entertainment
- Finance
- Health
- Homelife
- Shopping
- Travel"

That's what I found out from Overture customer support.



11:48 pm on May 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mine are showing again they are listed as regular search results, and non PPC are numbered. (edit) some are showing but not all in regular msn search.(edit)



10:13 am on May 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

So how do you get up high in msn without paying overture?

I dont mind paying for a looksmart addition.


10:36 am on May 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


"Rohan said Overture is likely to lose revenue because one of its main customers, Microsoft, is increasing investment in its own search technology."

This could just be MSN starting to shift towards that investment. That would explain why not all of your terms you bid on at Overture show up at MSN. Who knows tho. We all have read rumors/articles about MSN ditching Overture. Just got to wait and see I guess.


7:09 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

All - this morning (8.00 GMT - I am getting ZERO sponsored listings on MSN from Overture.


Have they gone for good? Anyone know anything?

My traffic from sites in the web pages section has shot up!

If they have gone - it is excellent news for SEO specialists.


7:20 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

oh :( they are back

Something is going on - I reckon MSN will drop OV **soon**


7:24 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think you will find that MSN are dropping their Featured Listings soon - to boost the prominence of their Overture listings in order to gain more revenue. Don't expect OT listings to be dumped until MSN have something that will make them even more money than OT currently pay them.

Glitches like this (OT listings disappearing) occur with boring frequency. Sometime L$ and INK listings disappear too!


2:59 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mine are still missing. I wonder if they are changing their list of keywords for which they show Overture results.

I hope not, unless they are expanding it.


3:28 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Back now. Phew.


5:08 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Has anyone heard anything about this recently? I haven't been able to get any Overture listings on MSN for the last month or so. MSN Search is displaying "web page" results at the top (which appears to be our Looksmart listing).

Any new input on this? Our traffic has taken a bit of a hit since this began.



6:13 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)


I would think that the looksmart listing you see should appear in the "web directory" section - not the "web pages" which is Inktomi.

Regarding the original post though - my areas are still showing sponsored sites.

Someone posted here a while back - that they come and go, probably as work is being done etc.

Also, there are certainly some types of websites which never get through to MSN.



6:14 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

Oh - one more thing - dont do PPC - bleed them dry and get rid - its better that way.




7:20 pm on Jun 11, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's a little bizarre... my site is in 2 of the general categories that should be listed, and there are no "sponsored listings" at all. The link to our site appears to be inktomi redirecting to looksmart which redirects to our site (thank goodness we're not PPC with them).

I've been watching them almost daily, but nothing has changed. We've been happily listed on MSN through Overture for about a year before this.

Cheers :)


(PS. I'd love to get rid of ppc, but unfortunately it's necessary when our competitors buy placement above our listing.)


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