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Where's the best info?



2:10 am on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've never used Overture PPC, I'm interested but confused about it. I've tried to find some post but I can't fully get the whole picture.
Does anyone know the best place to get a good behind the scenes picture of the Overture process?


2:27 am on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi twilight47, I am in the same boat as you. I understand how overture works, but Im not exactly sure if Overture is worth it. Some people have told me that for them it is a sure bet but I would like to get some of the pros and cons of the service. If you pay more than your competitors to promote your site, will that guarantee you visitors? My site is very customer friendly and I know that they will use it to its full potential, but I am unsure of whether Overture is the way to go. I think we are both looking for some sort of overview or explanation. Thanks!


3:31 am on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Okay here is an answer
In short if there is in fact a market for your product, (ie if people do search for it) and you are prepare to pay more than your competitors you are guarantee that you will receive traffic from overture

Whether it will worth or not it depends on many things such the number and deep pockets of your competitors advertising in overture, but most importantly the amount of money that you can make with a single sale and wether you can benefit from a customer drived to your sites from overture future purchases

However be aware of:
(please note that if somebody see this as an attack to overture this is exactly what it is)

- Be prepare to pay more for competitors clicking on your listing than for real genuine searchers

- Be prepare to pay more for deshonest overture partners (low reputation search engines) false click than for real genuine searches

- Be prepare for a tool called "match driver" which will make sure that your listing will appear even for searches in which you are not bidding and which are not totally relevant or are undesired to your campaing

- Be prepare due to the above than when they make your site appear wrongly, you will not only need to pay for something you dont want but you will also need to pay top money even if your bid was low for the original search term before overture applied match driver to it

- Be prepare that you will not be able to turn your bids on and off if needed. You will need to simply delete your listing and then resubmit at a later date or simply let your account get empty of cash

- For the above reason be prepare that once you created your campaing you CANT just simply bid in some terms today and some other terms tomorrow if you know what I mean

- Be prepare than your selected search terms MUST appear on the title you choose for your campaings even when this is not always desirable for the advertiser despite overture want us to believe so

- And most importantly be prepare than when you start using overture you cant really stop as you dont want to leave your competitors there on their own despite overture will cost you more and more every day and will drive you less and less and less sales every minute

- Also, when bidding on your search terms, always think that you will really be paying at least twice the ammount of your bid as I can practically reafirm today than at least 50% or more than any clicks that you will receive from overture will not be genuine

An existing overture advertiser which believe and public accuse overture to purposely screw its advertisers in every possible way

Now go ahead and create your overture account and comeback in a couple of months and tell me if I was right or not

Good luck


1:34 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with jeyval.

I have had an Overture account myself and this is very close to my experience. Additionally, unless you are gold status member spending several thousands of dollars a month with them, you will not have the same level of cutomer service. Needless to say, I no longer use them.


2:44 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

all jeyval's comments may happen but in the end the bottom line is "did you make money?"

You will have to test it for yourself.
Please report back.


3:12 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"but in the end the bottom line is "did you make money?"

Well, in theory who can argue with the above statement, whoever in the practice the above statement is not exactly accurated. Taking the above attitude is many advertisers mistakes and this is Overture's biggest advantage and the reason they are as they are and they will continuos TOTALLY ABUSING its advertisers for long time to come

Say product X for which under normal circumstances you would have made 30 off its sale
*of course you have already made allowances for "normal channels advertisement" etc, etc

Now say you manage to sell the same product in overture and make a profit of only 20 then this althought objectable it would still be kind of okay

But now say that for the time you sell this product due to Overture tactics you make only 10, will you still consider this as a valid way to apply your statement of:
"but in the end the bottom line is "did you make money?"

I dont think so

Bottom line is that Overture is screwing its advertisers

How many times any of you have thought that if would be possible to speak to each and all of overture advertisers all at once we would be able to FORCE overture to "lookafter" us as long as everybody agree in threating overture with taking their accounts offline should they no complain with our request? I have thought of it many times.

But instead, thinking that we do any good, we keep driving and somehow advising people to give Overture a try.

So, for the time "old advertisers" do realise overtures stealing money tactics, and when they start complaining and when they start leaving overture that is when we can start "pushing"...nothing happens because we have just send overture another xxxx number of new advertisers which will not find out this problems until after a while hence here we are back to the beggining while overtures pocket keep getting deeper and deeper

Oh well, keep doing this and Overture will be running your business very soon. They already have

Good luck


5:19 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

but in the end the bottom line is "did you make money?"

I never did! I always lost money! The only way that you could possibly make money from Overture advertising is if you have items of high dollar sales and these items were in high demand. This would create a sufficient ROI. So, there probably is a few companies out there that can afford to use and be profitable from Overture but not the vast majority.


6:09 pm on Jun 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Good points being made here!
I've had lots of bad experiences with both Overture and adwords.

I try a new niche every month or so.
I win some and stay with it while it lasts.
I loose some and drop my Overture ads when I reach about 1000 clicks and the ROI isn't there.
I don't play the game if I can't double my money.

I'll share stats on a one tier program I'm in.

MTD Stats:

Number of Clicks 3410
Number of unique clicks 3007
Number of Orders 159
Total dollars in sales $20791.69
Sale dollars per click $6.11
Affiliate commission per click $0.61
Cost per click $0.12

Number of Clicks 1619
Number of unique clicks 1444
Number of Orders 93
Total dollars in sales $11794.09
Sale dollars per click $6.97
Affiliate commission per click $0.69
Cost per click $0.22


11:31 pm on Jun 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Wow! Thanks for the info everyone. It seems to me that it would also depend on what you are selling on your site and what your commission is off of it. For those of you still using overture, do you have to keep track of sales and clicks or do you ever get to a point that you can let it go for a while, check on it periodically and still make money off of it. Someone told me that they had been able to do this in the past with overture but I suspect not.


12:00 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Bottom line is that Overture is screwing its advertisers

The advertisers are the one's doing it to themselves. Overture merely facilitate the introductions.

In every walk of life there will be winners and losers. For every advertiser that loses money, there will be those that make a fortune from it.

The one's that understand return on investment calculations and apply them in a disciplined manner and track everything in as granular a way as possible, will always make money from it.

It may take a few months to get on top of the product/service metrics and how to make money, and then it will require constant attention, but you can always make money and if you don't then it's not Overture/Google/Espotting fault.

I'd suggest you take a longer term view ( a few months) in any campaigns you run, and don't shoot the messenger. Without Overture et al, many people would not be able to make any sort of revenue model work from their web site.


12:31 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"The advertisers are the one's doing it to themselves. Overture merely facilitate the introductions."

Sorry but this is not the case.
Overture facilitates FRAUD and should be punish for it just like the justice would punish anybody who commits fraud. period.


12:36 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

- Also, when bidding on your search terms, always think that you will really be paying at least twice the ammount of your bid as I can practically reafirm today than at least 50% or more than any clicks that you will receive from overture will not be genuine

and how many different campaigns have you based this on, in how many different industries.

I agree that NO fraud should take place, but we live in a corrupt world, and accept that some people are not as nice others.

but to accuse a world leader of having a 50% fraud rate is utter non-sense in my opinion.

having used Overture for 18mths or so, and spent a substantial 6 figure sum, I can definately say that you are wrongly informed.




12:55 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I dont think I am wrong

I am running Overture accounts in many different industries just about the same lenght than you

"and how many different campaigns have you based this on, in how many different industries"

You dont get it. IT DOES NOT MATTER how much the above and it doesnt matter how much money a person can be doing in overture.
Overture is facilitating FRAUD. period. PERIOD. period.

"but to accuse a world leader of having a 50% fraud rate is utter non-sense in my opinion."
Actually I got reasons to believe that the percentage is even bigger than that

To have an idea of the truth on my words, I suggest if anybody with an account with relatively high bids (say on the region of over $1 - $1.50 gets a real time statistics program just like I have which allow you to track the visitor every movement from the very moment it arrive to your website.

Those who do that, very soon will be able to agree with my words after seing their visitors behivour.
Those who do that, will get its blood boiling like mine each time I see how my funds are gretting expended and expended without the minimum posibility of getting a return from it

"Without Overture et al, many people would not be able to make any sort of revenue model work from their web site."

That's unfortunately correct.
But this does not justify what they are doing.

fraud and stealing. PERIOD. PERIOD. PERIOD.


2:46 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

50% fraud or more, wow! Have you spoken to Overture about this?

What does your tracking tool manage? Do you see the path your visitors have taken? I assume that if you accuse Overture of fraud it means that a high proportion of "visitors" stop at the landing page - can you analyse UA & IP info? What do you see with AdWords (and Espotting if you're in Europe)?


3:28 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Yes I can analyse IP info but sorry I am not sure what UA is?

The tracking program does ring a bell each time that somebody arrives to my site and since I work on the internet I am practically all working hours by my computer.

The tracking program says where a customer comes from which in addition to?source=overture makes it very easy for me to track it

Then the program shows on real time how the visitor is moving within the site

Believe it or not, there is only a 10/30% of clicks that comes from totally reputable search engines and well over a 50% of the 70% left comes from places that I have NEVER BEFORE heard of.
When I visit those places....OH MY GOD...why would somebody search in there? other than its very owner

Say that (just number of course and dont mean to be totally accurate) 50% of clicks land on the main page and get out within a second or two.
Say that another 10% land in the home page and then stays there (WITHOUT MOVING ANYWHERE ELSE) for minutes and minutes and minutes, sometimes hours....just like they have got a hard attack in front of the computer and are unable to do anything else :-)
Say that another 10% just moves so specifically before leaving the site that its SO EASSSSSSY to see that they are just competitors checking you out
*However, I can understand this and I can understand that Over, differently from the rest of the points, cannot really do anything to avoid this

I dont use Adwords because I consider them to work out much expensier and because they convert even less. I believe this is because they show the links in the right of the page but this is another history altoghether

About Espotting.
Yes it kind of happens the same but at least Espotting give me the chance to switch my account on and off as wanted and because Espotting (at least just yet) has less partners this happens in a MUCH more smaller scale

Yes I have spoken to Over in several ocassions regarding fraud and they give different excuses other than admit what's going on

Before anybody say anything, just in case, TAKE MY WORD FOR IT that my website is well written and layout in a way that it makes genuine visitors to keep looking deeper

I have demanded that I can choose that my account (In addition of my own I manage several customers accounts) will display only on these partners sites which I agree to show in....you can imagine the answer to this

I have demanded that clicks from Overture search engine itself should not be accounted for...you can imagine the answer to this
COME ON, nobody uses overture search engine other than webmaster and while I am not saying that they intentionaly click on my accounts, they use overture to check things out as we webmaster should know

I have demanded that they make matchdriver optional.
come ooooooon, I am a webdesigner and I get several hits from people who clearly is looking for tutorials in how to create a website

I have demanded being able to switch my account on and off as needed as certain hours bring me LOTS AND LOTS of undesirable clicks

By dennaying all this I believe that they are helping fraud hence I wont get tired telling this to as many people as possible

[edited by: jeyval at 3:48 pm (utc) on June 16, 2003]


3:37 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am sure that there are issues that need to be addressed with any of these type programs, but I know there are people that use them and are able to make a good living off of them without any major issues. Overture must be doing something good to get to where they are today. I think the best way for me to find out more is to give Overture a try on a limited basis and see what I get from it. I will conduct a long term campaign and go from there. Thanks for all of the help and opinions on this.


9:52 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If it sucks so bad, then maybe consider a job change, or don't use PPC.

A chunk more money will be wasted by advertisers on poor keyword selection, wrong landing page, shockingly badly written ad copy, than will ever be wasted on click fraud.

If your only means of tracking visitors is through something like Livestats and?source=xyz then there will be so much that you will miss.

Your ads are the culprit if visitors arrive and leave in a short space of time. What steps have YOU taken to change the ad copy, or the landing page? What steps have you taken with Overture to identify the specific instances of click fraud that you have identified?

I've seen many people with negative opinions of Overture, but that takes the biscuit. If it's so bad then don't use them. Don't moan about it, Overture do not owe any of us a living from PPC.

On the very rare instances that we have come across genuine click fraud that has slipped through the Overture net, once we have provided them with the evidence, they took remedial action straight away.

Espotting do not have an opt-in solution, and nor does Overture or Google, just because you don't know the partner sites, you can't dispel their results as being of no value. In many instances on campaigns we manage the best results come from the smaller partner sites rather than the headline search engine sites, and we can track each click, from each partner, to compare.

There have been rogue sites, and we have worked with the PPC providers in trying to eliminate the traffic on the basis that it harms the searcher, the provider and the advertiser with results that don't convert in line with other publishers for the same keyword and ad copy.

This forum shouldn't be a bitching forum. The original subject of the post seems to have been hijacked by negative comments.


10:16 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am not saying negative comments.

I am talking truth loud and clear.

And yes, Over owes me and owes its advertisers RESPECT but they dont give it. If they dont, why should I give it to them?

Over drove me to join them with their nice words (now proven lies and rubbish).
What happen now, if I am not happy with them I should simply leave and shut up and let them do it to others?


Is it so hard to understand that they basically want you to take their abuse or simply forget about doing business on the net at all?
Do that really does not boil your blood? It boils mine and it should boild many others as well

They will do it to others no doubt and they are still doing it to me but I am not going to be quiet and silent. I will tell out as much as I can

If you are masoquist and you not only let them screw you around but on top of that you seems to enjoy it this is your very problem
*Sorry, not offense intended but really anybody who is follow its own advertise campaings and does not agree with my points simply is not following its campaing right, does not care if Over screw them money as long as they are making some pennies or simply works for Over

About hidding the original subject of this post, if you read my first answer you will see that I am telling him that if the traffic exist Over will deliver....only that I am also telling him at what price the delivery will need to be paid.
I dont recally advising him or anybody not to open an Overture account. How could I when I advertise with them myself


10:57 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>This forum shouldn't be a bitching forum.

So long as we stay civil this thread will be of value with members sharing differing views.



1:41 am on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Deleted - no longer relevant

[edited by: jeyval at 3:04 am (utc) on June 17, 2003]


2:09 am on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My apologies.
I was wrong. You dont work for Over, however You are indeed a very interested party as I suspected

...you are a follower which has agreed to agree with everything they say whatever it is in order to pocket two pennies.

On your own business you can tell your customers whatever you want and you can make them believe that they doing the deal of their lifes by making them a few extra pounds and a few hundreds for you and over but here dont you pretend to make my posts like I am talking unjustify rubbish because this is not the case and you know it

[edited by: jeyval at 3:17 am (utc) on June 17, 2003]


2:33 am on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am going to tell you more

How can you defend Over that much and how can you tell me that I am wrong if you dont even advertise in Over yourself. Arent they so wonderful anymore?

After searching in Over for four or five of what it would be key keywords for your business the only time I found you is in the "additional listing"

So, it is okay for your customers, for me, for this new guy who is asking for advise to put their money in Over but you dont do it yourself. Sorry but doesnt smell that good to me


AND PLEASE dont tell me that amount of non-sense that you say on your website about these wonderful kewords that nobody else knows and allow you (and your customers) to be top position with highly targeted words and no competition hence paying pennies while getting lots of hits.


2:47 pm on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Today is a different day and reading my above posts I admit that I may been somehow over the top.
I would like to apologise to webdiversity (which does not mean I agree with him a bit) and this will be my last post in Over forums

I simply get way too personal when discussing anything regarding Over as I strongly believe everyone of my comments about them, ie, unethic, stealling, facilitating fraud, etc.
In fact, I dont need to believe them, it happens to me in real time everytime I top back my account

I do believe that will be quite a few people's lurking outthere that will agree with my posts and if this posts can help so that anynew Over customer is prepared to what they are going to find it will have serve a purpose

Once more, for what is worth, I apologise to Webdiversity for having taken it personal


5:33 pm on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

All I can say is apology accepted.

We are accredited Overture SEM's. It effectively means we are transparent with our clients in terms of our dealings with Overture.

There are many companies that sell Overture results for a hugely inflated price, which is totally wrong. We certainly don't have any pacts, or loyalties, if Overture goof up we tell them, just like you do.

Why don't we advertise on Overture currently? We have done in the past, and will do in the future, if needs be. All of our enquiries come by way of word of mouth and personal recommendation. We can only handle a certain number of clients with the staff we have, and sales enquiries need to be followed up.

PPC is all about ROI. If we spend money now, we would get enquiries, but service levels might drop.

Maybe we should take our web site down?

Are there niche keywords? Of course there are. Even now, even with Match Driver.

Hey, if you don't believe me let me know the sector you are in and I'll find you some, free of charge, just to prove the point.

End of flame.


9:20 pm on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I apologize if this wasnt a question that should have been asked. I didnt know it was such an explosive topic. It does seem to me that Overture cannot simply rob you and give you nothing back whatsoever. You obviously have to have a very strong site that is customer friendly. A search engine can bring you the traffic but you have to work to get the sale. My understanding is that if you have a user friendly site, you have a much better chance to prosper. Thank you both for your observations, it is good to get different opinions on this. One more question, Webdiversity, it seems that you work with/use Overture on a normal basis. Have you had great success with well thought out campaigns that last for months at a time? I understand to continue to get traffic this way I will need to continue to use the program, but generally, how long does it take for you to see results?


9:51 pm on Jun 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We will often recommend Overture to clients as part of a balanced campaign, but there will be times when we may not use them, owing to issues like the editorial process (3-5 days can be a killer for a time sensitive event).

The secret to a good campaign, whoever you use, is to test, test and test some more. Try different wording for ads, try different landing pages, try different sign up processes.

Results will only be as good as the keywords you bid on, the position you are buying and how relevant your product/service is to the current climate.

So, if you sell red widgets only and the market goes off red widgets because blue is all the rage, then you can't blame OV or Google for you not keeping abreast of market conditions.

Results can be good straight away. Sometimes you may need to do some refinement before you get the results you expect because you bid too niche or too generic only rather than it being balanced. Generally speaking you should expect to be turning profit inside of 2 months, as long as the margins are ok in what you sell.

Hope that helps.


1:52 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I am thus far very dissapointed with Overture.

I have an account with them and one of the keywords I have
used is " keyword1 keyword2". I was not told by them that the searcher has to type in the keyword exactly as I have registered it with them.

Example if the searcher types into msn "keyword1 IN keyword2" then my advert does not appear. ( due to the word " in " my registered terms are deemed not to have matched the registered keywords )

Thus am I forced to open more than one account to cover as many possibilities for poeple putting in prepositions etc to their search?

I am using overture to advertise on an English search engine ( msn.co.uk ).

This is pure trickery as far as im concerned as the same insertion on the term in google for example has no effect on my placement in the SERPS or on the adwords etc.

Potential buyers be warned...


11:38 pm on Jun 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

David, welcome to Webmaster World.

Knowing the nuances of the different PPC's is part of the learning curve.

Each of the PPC's have quirks and gettingto grips with them will turn your experience into a better one. If they all worked the same there would be a certain amount of predictability and the same players would be at the top everywhere.

Knowing the PPC's stance on plurals, stop words, phrase match, match driver and things like that will make your results so much better.


12:17 am on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Webdiversity ,

I understand that the onus is indeed on me to get to grips with the " nuances ". However what seperates all the players is how many searchers they reach daily. Not making it in my opinion more costly for PPC by using this trick. Overture I believe uses some kind of matching algorithim to show my results where I dont want them. ( reference matchdriver ) . Its a shame they dont make use of this software to try and help their clients . Currently they are denying me an advert because the searcher has used the word " in " . Seems they also shoot themselves in the foot for revenue...


3:27 pm on Jun 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Most of the PPC's have some for of "match driving" facility.

Example on Espotting if anyone uses the word "buy" "purchase" or "get" in their search they get the same results as if they typed it without. So if I type "buy widget" then everyone with the word "widget" will get their results shown.

Google's match driver is "phrase match" and [exact match], which is more complicated to understand than any of Overture's.

In the early stages of development, most new advertisers can only generate a small number of keywords, some argue that Match Driver is bad because it matches up things like mispellings, so instead of stealing a bid at 10 cents you have to pay $5 a click, so not likely to harm the revenue model too much there.

There's good and bad points in all of the PPC engines, that's why I said it's important to get to grips with the nuances, in order to maximise the benefits you get from PPC.


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