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Starting a large OV account

Just got off the phone; couldn't believe what I heard.


archie goodwin

6:56 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I need to figure out if there is a way to bulk upload about 40k keywords to my Overture account. So far they tell me that the only way its possible is for me to do it myself. Can they possibly be serious?!?

Because we haven't advertised with Overture previously, we don't meet the standard for their higher level of service (spend of >6k/yr). We spend about this much in 2-3 days on AdWords. When I told the customer service rep this, she just said "well that's Google, not us." Wow, what top notch support. :-/

We basically want to port one of our largest campaigns that gets about 30k clicks/day on G. Surely they must want this business.

Anyone have any advice on how to get around this? The most they'd do for me is allow me a one-time 1,500 keyword bulk upload. After that phone conversation, I'm tempted to not advertise on Overture at all, but I'd really like to get the extra traffic.


7:06 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Just man add the ones that cost the most and wait until you hit $6K.


7:35 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

archie, go to a ppc bid manager who has direct relationships with Overture.

save you so much headache (imo)



8:00 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've never uploaded THAT many keywords but there is an excel document that you can add your details to and upload it. I have done it with about a 1000. Is this the 1500 you are discussing? If so I would go with a third party manager as well. This way you can also get decent tracking out of the deal.

archie goodwin

8:01 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the advice Shak. I'd prefer to do it myself, but if it's that much trouble then maybe it's worth it to find a bid manager. I just couldn't believe that we want to give them so much money, and were pretty much turned down. It doesn't quite make sense to me.


archie goodwin

8:04 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I think that 1,500 spreadsheet is the same thing that they told me about. I'd be a lot more willing to pay for tracking as part of a bid manager if we hadn't just developed an in-house way to do it ourselves!



10:59 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Even if you have an in house system you don't have an xml feed like some of the management companies do.


11:08 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

First, don't get me wrong Overture support is not what it should be.

However, I find it strange that you have that active a google account and you are just getting around to trying out overture. I also find it strange that you want to jump with both feet into a new a new ppc.

Overture might find these two things strange also and think you are jerking them around.

As another poster suggested I'm guessing a small fraction of your terms make up the bulk of your activity. Give these a try and go from there.


11:16 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Keywords usually follow the 80/20 rule - so (as some others have suggested) upload your 250 or so best ones and start off with them. I promise you that if you start spending money, they will pay attention to you.

Look at this from their perspective - they don't know you and you call them up saying you have 40,000 keywords to upload and when will that be ready please? They've probably been burnt before by people who upload and never spend etc and also - 40,000 keywords straight off without any testing of the water is a bit intense.

archie goodwin

11:59 pm on Oct 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

figment88: we've had an overture account for over a year, but haven't spent much because we didn't have good luck in our limited testing of previous campaigns.

The campaign we want to port to Overture is a very new one (less than 2 wks old), and has had great results for us on AdWords already. In that sense we've done some testing of the water. We are confident enough to want to jump in, and will be monitoring the performance of course.

I understand that they have to be a bit skeptical of people calling them up saying "Hey, I have 40k keywords I want to put up!" They need to be prudent and can't give everyone the ability to bulk upload a bunch of terms which may not generate any clicks whatsoever. I'd be completely satisfied if they told me that I could upload 1,500 keywords today, and that if they were working out and my spend was up, they'd go ahead with the rest.

However, I totally disagree with the way they've handled the situation so far. I hung up the phone not wanting to give these people a dime of my money. Seeing that I called wanting to give them a small fortune, I think they really screwed up.



8:03 am on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Why not deposit a large amount of money into the account, call them again and see what they say?

A PPC bid manager for that many keywords would be a good option, as others have said. However, you want to go it alone and I can see the advantages of that too.


4:21 pm on Oct 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Archie, this is nothing new at all, and please do NOT feel "guilty" for wanting to setup 40,000 keywords. If Overture management had half a brain they would make it easier to help customer port their keywords over. I myself built up my adwords campaign to tens of thousands of keywords as well, before deciding to start working on my overture account (because I knew how ridiculous their policies are). I'm buying the same PPC $ volume as you are in adwords, and dealing with overture's nonsense is taking 80% of my workday. Maybe when I get bumped from Gold to Platinum, they will actually give a damn, but I don't feel like wasting 3 months waiting for a review.

I submitted a few thousand listings to see how Overture would handle it. They changed my:

1. titles
2. descriptions
3. display url (yes, display url....)
4. and dissapproved only my highest traffic/best converting keywords because of "insufficient content"

AND ofcourse I was never informed of any of the first 3 changes.


6:58 pm on Oct 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been dealing with Overture the past month or so trying to get extensive changes incorperated into our account:

Adwords data is complete and structured with better landings and wealth of data. Our corresponding overture listings pale in comparison.

One would think that there would be an automated manner in which to import (minimally) search strings and landing pages into overture, rather it required getting a spreadsheet from our adwords rep, using a couple formulas to convert the data into a semi-acceptable format, and quite a bit of manual work. Quite frankly if overture had an automated tool or more desirable customer service our spending with them would easily double overnight. Rather they have policies that throw any work with them on the back burner, and cpc rates that throw active stuff there as well.

Unfortunatly, they are a big player and thus have the leverage to necessitate this work.


11:30 am on Oct 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Open a new account with Overture. First 90 days, you will be treated like gold partner.

Use bulk upload for ONLY THOSE KEYWORDS, which are not present in your first campagin. If you repeat the keywords, you may get in trouble.

Once the second account starts performing well, call them and ask them to combine the two accounts.

hope this works :)


9:53 pm on Oct 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have had trouble with Overture myself. When I sent them the link to this discussion, this is the reply:


[edited by: engine at 2:19 pm (utc) on Oct. 27, 2004]
[edit reason] No emails. See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit]

archie goodwin

8:34 pm on Oct 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for all the replies. I've been on vacation for the last week and haven't been able to reply, but I really appreciate the help. I'm going to call the 800 # posted earlier and see if they are more receptive.

I'll post my progress as soon as I talk with them.


archie goodwin

9:59 pm on Oct 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That went much better. I now have the spreadsheet submission form, and can begin uploading at any time.

here's what worked for me:

I called the # on the signup page under the "sales group" header (as suggested earlier)

I chose the "new advertiser" option at the prompt (yes, even though I'm not a new advertiser).

I talked with a support rep who was sympathetic but didn't know what to do in this situation. She put me on hold and then transferred me to a "senior account executive" who explained things, and ended up creating a new sub-account for us, and promptly emailed me the submission form. No real hassle. It's a shame that couldn't have been my first conversation with them!

I would really hope that they find some way to avoid this kind of thing. I was told before that in no way would I EVER be able to upload more than 1,500 keywords. This time they gave me the tools I need.



9:44 am on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

archie.. what do you mean by "This time they gave me the tools I need."? Are they allowing you to submit more than 1500 keywords in one Excel Sheet or is it some other tool?


archie goodwin

3:28 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

sdani: Yes, the "tools I need" include the spreadsheet upload ability (there was no mention of keyword limits), as well as someone to contact at Overture.



3:40 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



11:24 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I think generally if you're going to do this kinda business you'd probably spend some time researching the entire website for more information.

I'm kinda suprised that you've done the research to generate 6K per day spends but you are willing to accept the answer of a lowly CSR or not bother checking out the entire website.

I guess it goes to show how topsy turvy the web industry is, sometimes..


8:45 pm on Nov 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


I've just spent a good portion of the day with some of the folks at O.

My dilemma has always been that I won't meet the min. until I have the bulk upload tool, and I won't have the tool until I meet the min. spend.

Arg...so now I finally have a client that meets the spend and is already gold status, and I want to get all the accounts under an umbrella (half of which would most likely be higher spends with the upload tool). I have another client who will hit the min. spend in just the last 2 months of this year (they are seasonally based), if given the opportunity. I then find out "gold status" is reviewed on a quarterly basis. Chances are the seasonal budget is going to G or elsewhere if I am forced to everything manually.

Seriously...this is NOT a value add making people BEG for a tool that is very useful and important to many smaller advertisers. It has only astranged me, and caused me to keep all of my client's spend to this point with Adwords. I think O is missin' the boat on this one. It is one thing to offer value adds to top customers...it's quite another to belittle the folks that WOULD spend money with you if given a fighting chance. A couple of times I've been offered the one time bulk upload of 1500 words...I feel like a starving man being offered an oreo.

I'm not normally one for whining, but this has been a recurring issue, and it ticks me off when I have to waste my time (manually uploading or calling and BEGGING for bulk upload), to spend my money with O. I doubt I am the only one not spending as much as I could be because of the time management issues involved with manual uploads.

To quote a friend who I was griping to about this today:

They wouldn't know how to take money if they had slots in their backs



8:23 am on Nov 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator 10+ Year Member

The more you spend the better they take care of you, which is to be expected.

As Shak mentioned you may want to get a management company to upload the list for you. You might be able to work out a deal where they do it for you as a one time fee.

Overture is not happy about these types of relationships because if a management company does not remove your account from their umbrella, you can still get access to the high quality reps that the Ambassadors and Gold/ Diamond(does this exist anymore?) advertisers get. If you are not spending the money they should not be taking care of your large campaign...it makes sense from a financial/resource standpoint.

One way around this would be if you can throw down some money and prepay an account. I would suggest calling up Overture, demand to talk to a rep, and tell them your situation. Explain to them that you are willing to prepay $XXXXX.XX if you can get a better bulk upload tool, or an account rep assisted upload.

Here is some info that will smooth out some of the details:

  • The bulk upload tool that Ambassador level advertisers have access to can handle 6000 rows (keywords) at a time.
  • If you get a rep to help you with the upload, they should be able to handle 40k a day, and they prefer that you give them the file early in the week.
  • If you have a good relationship with overture they can some times massage terms/creatives through the editorial team.

Uploads go through the following path in the editorial process:

Editorial process
Automated editorial process
It is actually faster to get automated editorial checks through the control center upload. You can get listings posted in as little as 30 minutes

  • Duplicate Check - Removal of all duplicates, buy widgets and widgets buy are they same on overture precision match.
  • Guideline Check - This would look for words/punctuation that you cannot use, such as Best deals in town", or "Free Shipping!!@!@!"
  • Automated Relevancy Check - They check the url and see if the keywords fit the page. A good way to get approval is to mention the keyword in the filename/url, in the title, in a header and in the first sentence on the page. Sounds a bit like SEO (c:

Manual Editorial Check
At some point denied listings (and certain terms) get flagged and have to get approved by hand. If you have 1000 terms all going to separate urls, that is now 1000 urls that an editor will have to hand check, if the spider cannot detect the relevancy of your landing pages.

If you submit a large upload to your rep they hand it off to the editorial department. If you are doing anything you do not want caught, I would recommend doing it on your own. Generally a rep doing an upload takes more time then the control center upload. Also the manual upload adds this nasty test:

  • Volume Check - This pulls any word that gets less than a certain threshold per month in search volume. I believe it is 20, but it may be less.

* Disclaimer - I have not touched an Overture account in roughly 6 months, so the numbers may be off.


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