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Yahoo! to Acquire Overture



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

10+ Year Member

Haven't seen any news reports yet, but the purchase of Overture by Yahoo! was announced this morning. It will be a stock + cash deal. Will post details as they emerge.


8:39 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Great presentation of the past ;) Loved reading through it. :)

jeremy goodrich

8:49 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

Few years ago, we had the 'instant index' of InfoSeek, or the biweekly Altavista updates ;)

Google's changes are about the same today, as the SE landscape of a few years ago. Though in any industry that becomes very competitive, once more $$$ is at stake, the industry in the US will usually tend towards oliogarchy :) Much like the Operating system market, or the browser market - though in these there is 1 clear player, there are a few other large ones of note.

Thus it makes the barrier to entry much higher for the rest of the players...

Will be interesting to see what happens next with the oher small players left.


9:07 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Emailed from my Overture account rep:



9:08 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

1998 Infoseek's VP gets busted for solicting a 13 year old who turns out to be a cop. Bye-bye Infoseek. Hello Disney. OOPS

At&t buys Excite for 6 billion dollars. OOPS

1999 Compaq acquires Alta Vista for some 650 million. OOPS

2000 Disney rips off Goto and changes infoseek to Go.

2001 Disney wakes up. Buh bye Disney. Hello Goguides and Joeant. Oops.

1997 thru 2003
Yahoo goes public and becomes arguably the single most over-valued stock in history. No one, especially Yahoo, has any idea why or how they got that much money so they start buying everything they can get their hands on trying to find something that can justify their cash while running terribly expensive, if not terribly witty TV commercials and taxi cab ads.

They develop a strategy based on the concept that if one provider is good, three must be better and start piling on more over-rated, spam filled, bandwidth sucking crap on top of what is already the goofiest, bandwidth sucking, spam laden, second only to aol for in-your-face-whether-you-like-it-or-not, throw everything at them until something sticks site on the planet.


9:10 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

but tell us how you really feel


9:25 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> why all the animosity towards Looksmart? <<

Oh dear, oh dear.... I wouldn't know where to begin, or how far I dare go on a family friendly board like this. Search the web for 2 minutes. You'll find PLENTY of reasons why people despise them totally and don't use them.

Back to the present, and the future in which they will play no role whatsoever. I reckon that the real landscape will only be clear when M$ show their hand. You don't have to dig too deep to work out some possible scenarios. The main one being their tendency to utilize existing platforms to monoplize and attack new markets.

The most relevant platform here? The browser. Watch it unfold and watch the legal battles follow closely behind. IMHO it's inevitable.


9:25 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Over 500 sites - I average 65% traffic from Google and Google clones (like Yahoo) - down from 68% when Freeserve dropped Google.

If Yahoo drops Google - then down to sub 50%.

And I'm outside the US.

Adding on Overture to Yahoo figures will take them up to over 20% of my traffic and I expect that will grow as this deal kicks in!


9:25 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

well: isn't it somthing about CMGI? Just take a look at their chart today...


10:24 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

After everything settles down, is there going to be one clear winner? I would guess Yahoo.


10:28 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I suspect Yahoo also wanted into the very promising and lucrative Content based ads that are now being run in Overture.

It makes sense, I see this as being the next biggest thing online as far as sources for traffic.

Now Yahoo owns PPC, PFI, Search, and ContentAds.... and some of the best out there in each one too I might add. Excellent Aquisition for them.

Once content ads take off, Yahoo will be be laughing.

Robert Charlton

10:31 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm not positive if this was happening before, but I ran a comparison of rankings and I'm seeing near mirror results in rankings between one particular site of mine in Yahoo and AltaVista.

I've recently been noticing for several sites I monitor that AV serps have been looking remarkably Google-like. I wouldn't call them "near mirror results," but I'd definitely say 'close parallels.' It would be nice if AV manages to survive in something like its current form. I have a strong sentimental attachment for the engine.


10:50 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

And the potential losers would be.............

Sites offering content that doesn't warrant PPC

Fine if you pay for traffic where PPC works well but if you have the misfortune to live in the twilight zone where it takes 500 uniques to make one $1/1 sale then this could be very bad news.

Before someone posts a 'theres no competition if it takes 500 uniques to make one $1/1 sale' I'd say, people do pay for these types of terms which is strange but true.

For many years G/Y have provided a lot of free traffic and many of us have worked hard to make sure that websites were made available with the right sort of content to make sure that the surfers got exactly what they wanted;)

A few mixed up messages above but I'm worried that the Y/G will take over and levy a fee on every vistor to our sites, when you think about it if there were no sites they would have no business so why do we have to pay the rent?

We provide the content and the SE's charge us for the privilege.

Just thought I'd have a little rant, I'm not sure what Yahoo will do but I am worried as I could see a 30% drop in traffic, Google on the other hand continues to provide quality traffic and I can return the favour with AdSense so we both do well, lets hope Y is as generous.


11:24 pm on Jul 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google vs Microsoft vs Yahoo!

As was said before Microsoft have yet to deliver a search engine. Perhaps they never will. Right now we have something massive happening...
Google vs Yahoo! The interesting point is that Yahoo do in fact own a small stake in Google.

I wouldent be at all surpriced if either Yahoo or Microsoft attempt to aquire Google. In light of the events of the past 6 months nothing would surprise me anymore.



12:03 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't think Yahoo + Overture is going to work out all that well. I know a few people are looking down at Google-worshippers (Googleberts?), but Yahoo and Overture's general attitudes so far have been greedy. Rather than focusing on providing a good service, the companies have become leeches, sucking up every copper penny through their customers' pores.

Now, with this new development, I can only imagine that web developers will only get screwed out of more money while retaining the same listings. Let's face it - there's just so many links and advertisements you can put on a page, and even if they were able to throw more attention to your listing, is the surfer really going to be more inclined to click on it?

Both Yahoo and Overture have been taking money and not delivering its worth - I sincerely hope this fails and hits them where it hurts.

- Jonathan


12:17 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I gotta admit that even with DSL, is takes a while for Yahoo pages to load. I hope they don't do that with ATW or whatever else is next. At least Google doen't try to be a portal.


12:18 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe I need another cup of coffee, but I don't see how this should make a big difference for my sites.
Where do you guys think we will see the changes?


1:03 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think that we are going to have to see MSN buying something, because they aren't going to want to be partnered with Yahoo for their advertising... but what is left? Findwhat/Espotting, Looksmart/Wisenut and Ask Jeeves/Teoma. Is there anything else?

I can't see how Ask Jeeves would fit into MSN at all, but the other two might make good purchases for MSN. It would give them two different PPC systems plus a ready made search engine to develop.


1:34 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


slightly mistaken headline: "Google Planning to Buy Overture"


2:05 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

ummm, yea. ok.

The SEC must always go thru the approval process and of course shareholders need to vote. And of course there is potential for things to change or bid offers to increase.

Deals like this do not happen overnight,however, and 99% of these acquistions will go thru barring a serious and concerted effort by another suiter to make a move on O (or monopoly ~which is not relevant). If such was the case, we would not of seen the public statments by Y or O today.

PS: I'll stick to WW.


2:59 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

MSN could always buy kanoodle.
Now there's a name for you.
We actually generate quite a bit of traffic from kanoodle and it's pretty easy to use. Maybe MSN could change the name... please.


3:11 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

To me the significance for website owners and webmasters is that it is yet another nail in the coffin of SEO as the major promotion and on-line precense generator. The industry has shaken out. opportunities for opportunistic listings will be reduced overall as power is shared by less players, all with their own network of business partners. Jeremy mentioned oligarchies. Thats where the real money will be made, and it's pretty clear the advertising/publishing oligarchy models that characterise off-line publishing/media will finally characterise the Web.

Niche web publishing opportunities will endure, but the web is not a cottage industry anymore.


3:18 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

While this is interesting, Google is still the only one with the right idea.

Users/searchers will move away from search results that are primarily paid results, or paid inclusion, because those results will not be as good as an effective search engine like Google.

While Yahoo can gain a new large revenue stream from the Overture acquisition, they are unlikely to change their search results that dramatically.

It only takes a few bad searches for someone to give up and begin to use a new engine.

Google still rules, and unless they change their model, they will continue to be the leader.

All of this consolidation is a direct result of the pressure that everyone else feels from Google. Even with all of Yahoo's acquisitions, I still don't see them taking over the search engine position on the net.


3:41 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yahoo slam MSN out of the game, (read for the next 6 to 12 months), with the aspiration of MSN to be a new SE without buying somebody.

My Crystal Ball ;-)

- Yahoo gonna take some trafic share from Google in the next 6-9 months with the index of ATW and/or AV if the SEC dont put obstruction.
- Google go for IPO in next 3-4 months, but with a lot of precaution (small amount of voting actions for no OPA of M$) and get a more reliable back-end (for in-house testing) and a first public and "standard marketing campaign" with a agressive rate on PPC Adwords at lower price than Yahoo/Overture who have at lot less liquidity.
- Google got back.
- Yahoo sell Altavista to MSN to get cashflow.
... The story will continue in spring 2004 (my battery is dead ;-)


3:51 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

worker, I'm pretty sure Google has proved to many the profitability of a search business that focuses on free indexing and objectively/creatively ranked results in its main index and selling on the side transparantly once the eyeballs are in (and hooked!)

Im not convinced that Y! will NOT follow this model, in fact im expecting a lot of what the industry has learned from Google to be reflected in the Y! search offerings - with say a very good free information-heavy main index developed from AV, ATW and parts of Ink, initially to replace the google results as we see them now, and with smarter PPC and paid listings ala OV. However that will develop to something quite different im sure, but the model remains the same - Bring in eyeballs by the quality of your objective, informative sERPS, and sell them on the side.

But let's not forget in all this mad buying on search side, that Y! is still, primarily, a portal, though they realise search must ba an important part of that. Maybe you and me will still use google for its speed and because we know what each site does best. But casual or novice to intermediate users will probably use a portal, where they can check email, and chat and search all from the same place. And Y! is making sure these services are VERY integrated - people can choose to pay for premium services in each, but that advantage is increased because some of these services work together.

Even though G! is starting to look more and more like a portal it is not a "personal portal" in the traditional way of the early portals like Y!, excite, etc. its pretty hard to do without the web'smost used application and the reason why most people go to the interenet every day - email.. Google may be a portal - but it will probably remain a specialist SEARCH portal - search pages, news, images, blogs etc...

To me, the great unsung advantage of Google (unsung because its so integral its relatively invisible to the casual user) is its speed - other SE's have caught up a lot in SERP quality. I just cant see how Y! can compete on this with their present model as a portal but will find a way to leverage their brand as a portal even more, with search a key part.

So i was not saying in my previous post that SEO opportunities will be reduced because Y! will become more "paid for" so much, but the fact that the power base decentralization will mean there are less opportunities for SEO, especially DIY or small SEO company efforts.


4:25 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I for one count myself numb to Yahoo's attempts to advertise to me over recent years. I think they have quite the uphill climb.


4:40 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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

I can see why Ask Jeeves stock went up, they look to be the big winner, but what the heck is Looksmart stock rising 25% for?


4:59 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Deja Vu from Downunder Folks,

a few months back (GAWD! Was it THAT long ago?!) I was about to post to one of Bretts' ever incitful threads, but decided to run the post past the forum editor first and we decided it was a little too "mature" for the family atmosphere here ... however, given the tack and lang. here today I don't think it'll be out of place this time, and my observation holds.

If it's decided otherwise, I won't be offended.

Cheers and Hoooro
JP ... here's the post ....

>we are watching the same slow process unfold at Google. Many SERPS now have a dozen advertisements.

As always Brett, timely and insightful.

It reminds me of the joke about a cocktail party ... you know the one ...

Children please cover your ears ...er .. eyes ..

A wizened old gazillionaire approaches a gorgeous young thing with T&A to die for ...
He: "will you sleep with me for a million dollars?"
She: ... looking him up and down and thinking for a moment ... "OK".
He ... "how 'bout for a thousand dollars?"
She ... offended ... "what do you think I am?"
He ... "we know what you are ... now we're just negotiating the price."

You pays your money ;-)

Cheers and Hooroo


5:19 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

my spec is that MSN will buy out Looksmart/Wisenut/Grub and probably use the Looksmart in the same way google uses dmoz. As for its own search engine, perhaps it would continue with its own build or may even go in for wisenut, with some great modifications. Just my 2 cents here ;)


5:20 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Allergic >>Google go for IPO in next 3-4 months,

could be, I hear a while back their target was Aug-Oct range, but that has prob. changed... this is the internet ya know.

steveb >>Looksmart stock rising 25% for?

don't you see whats coming?
purchased by MSN, then they have the crawler Grub (cough...distributed,? will that get off ground), that plus the current fill they have for search, then add their p2p thing in the works. Then the next IE will have a more visible web/MSN/internet search feature, default to MSN of course. market share won't change soon for IE. Gives them a bit of leverage against the Gahyoogles (don't say w/out 'h') of the world. Right now this is the only thing I see possible for them to do. Though, they may not do this up front, but get control of LS through another company so LS can seem to stay indep.

are they stupid for dropping IE support for other OS? does not really fit for the above senario.

>>Yahoo! to Acquire Overture

cool, but really all this tells me is that in 2 years there will be new players and we'll have many new things to ponder over then also.

gotta luv the net, where else can the control of half an entire industry be gained in less than a year. ...to be a fly on the wall in that room when they thought this up... ;)


8:15 am on Jul 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Can I just ask what everyone has against Microsoft. Number 1 they have been around a long time and despite there shortcomings they have been improving of late and things have been getting better. Only thing I am concerned about is there security issues on their software. At the same time though all the SE's are doing the same thing. Google is monitoring a lot of information and im sure some of the other engines are too.

I think Microsoft can and will make a very good search engine / ppc engine themselves although in true Microsoft fashion im sure they will test it and update it on us unsuspecting consumers. Not such a bad thing though they tend to get updates out faster than most people.

IMHO go Microsoft.

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