Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: werty

Message Too Old, No Replies

Overture Issues



1:07 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

1. You are set to auto-billing by default. You cannot change this on your own. You have to contact them to do this, and once it is changed to a pre-paid account if you re-activate auto-billing (even by accident) you cannot resume pre-pay.

This, matched with the fact that they auto-bill your account at least 3 days before you run out of money, basically means that every client Overture has will always end up leaving at least (but usually over) 3 days worth of click thru money in their account.

2. They have no (to my knowledge) support e-mail address or phone number. You have to contact them via your control panel. Where is the support link you ask? Why, in the same font as the copyright information on the bottom of the page, in a light grey to match the white background. You may want to try clientservices@overture.com.

3. To legitimize milking their clients, if you do not spend at least 20 dollars a month in clicks that amount will be automatically deducted from your deposited money. If you spend 15, then 5 will. This is a good way of cleaning up the remainder of the money you leave in your account as pointed out in #1.

4. Their editorial process per keyword/phrase/url takes (as per my knowledge) over a week. Matched with #3, this means if you are a new customer who signs up and deposits money on the 20th of the month, you will lose that 20 dollars by the beggining of next month, for no reason whatsoever.

5. Even if you pick "budgeted" billing, which would entail you spending a certain amount of money per day, you are pre-charged for this, assuming that their estimates are valid enough to charge your credit card. As opposed to this, Adwords charges you once a month (AFAIK), at the end of the month, based on how many clicks you actually use.

6. There is no daily spending limit unless you are on a budgeted account. If you pre-pay, they will serve as many of your ads as they can, as quickly as possible so as to run through your money in an expediated way.

All that being said, I have no clue whatsoever why anyone would ever use Overture. I am in the process of wasting my recently deposited funds, and encourage anyone who reads this to stick with AdWords or some other form of advertising. If you take into account all the methods they have of taking your money, it should make you wonder whether the product/service they offer is up to par (because theoretically, the better the product/service, the less necessary these shady tactics become).


4:33 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

From the latest Overture newsletter:

Majority of Listings Now Online in an Hour

New technology and processing improvements enable you to get your ads on our network soon after they're submitted


Overture's Editorial and Technology teams have made a number of recent improvements that have resulted in approximately 80 percent of all search listing requests (SLRs) online within 60 minutes after they are submitted. For the other 20 percent of SLRs that require a greater degree of review by a human editor, you should be noticing recent improvements in getting these listings online more quickly, often in just one or two business days.


5:03 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


You've got be kidding.. You are making Overture akin to some of the 2nd tier PPC's I'll leave un-named here....

The bottom line is Overture provides positive ROI for a "huge" number of advertisers, or they wouldn't have grown to the size they are today.

I'm not even going to bother responding to your points of contention, after reading #3... It's funny, in our SEM services, it's always the smallest accounts that are the most "painful" to service... The large accounts (who really have the right to demand the most service), rarely ever bark, like the little guys....

Just how time do you expect a company to spend on an account that's worried about spending $20 a month? :)


9:02 am on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

1. You have always had to pre-pay at Overture.

2. Check your e-mails from Overture. Most of mine (in the UK) have a phone number (freephone) and an e-mail address.

3. $20 a month is not much...

4. Editorial process can be slow and painful at times...

5. You have always had to pre-pay at Overture.

6. Set up a budgeted account then!

The reason people use Overture and put up with some of the problems there is the ROI.


9:22 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nice responses. Glad to see that we all agree with the notion that if you're a smaller business with a tight budget you have no right to demand good service.

Regardless of your ROI with Overture, the billing methods I mentioned above do lead to one general conclusion: It is not for your benefit, but rather Overture's benefit in milking the "smaller" advertisers of their funds as quickly as possible.

And I have never received a phone number or e-mail address from Overture. Perhaps as a new client some of the support and service I am receiving is different than more established clients.

However, my points do stand since none of you actually addressed them but rather said "live with it", which is something I might have to do, but does not negate the fact that they are ridiculous methods of doing business and makes Overture a shady company.


9:36 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Go to Overture's home page click on "company information"
then click on "contact or visit overture" you will find phone numbers, emails and driving directions.

At the bottom of every screen in the DTC is their phone number.

Saying Overture is a shady company implies they intentionally rip people off which they don't. If they did you wouldn't have people bidding $30 or more a click for some words.

I'm not arguing that they could work things out with the performance of their system but it's not designed to steal from the little guy.

Smaller advertisers do deserve service just as larger advertisers but is a $20 monthly investment in advertising really a problem?


11:29 pm on Mar 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

1) Overture's auto-billing and pre-pay features aren't the most user friendly, and I've never been a fan of their billing process. However, this isnt' a scam. They have their policies like every other business in the world. If you don't agree with how they setup their business model, you don't have to use it.

2) Can't really comment on this as we have an account rep. Our account rep has been very good with handling any problems or issues. My experiences on my own without an account rep haven't been that bad. I've filled out their form and gotten my response in 48 hours.

3) If you can't spend $20 in a month for marketing you business, Overture is not the best marketing vehicle for you. My bank has minimum balance requirements or I pay a fee, I don't consider this a scam. I read the rules when I signed up.

4) Agreed, their editorial process is a joke. However, e-mailing customer support and letting them know your situation, I'm certain they'd refund the $20.

5) Overture is pre-pay, nothing you can do about it. That's just how their business model works. It's not a scam.

6) Again, this is their business model. If it doesn't fit your needs, try something else.

I've certainly had my complaints about Overture in the past, but they are still a very nice service. They make a lot of people a lot of money.

I believe your post is without merit, and most of your claims are more or less complaints, rather than "scams". As for the libel you commited in your post, I don't see it swaying many people on these boards.

They do lack service for smaller companies, but in the same sense, most companies do. It is not cost effective to sit on a phone with someone for an hour who is spending $20/month. Walk into an investment firm with $50 and see what kind of support you get.


12:07 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There is no phone number or e-mail address anywhere in the DirectTraffic center. That is entirely incorrect and miss-leading information. Point out exactly where on the page it shows up, and I'll be sure to look and see if I missed it. In fact, there is no support or contact information anywhere in and around the actual DirectTraffic center, which is where you would assume it is.

You are correct about there being a phone number under the main Overture.com company page. However this is not obvious if you are an advertiser as most companies only provide corporate information there, not customer support phone numbers. They are definitely trying to keep it hidden.

As for the validity of Overture's service, I suppose I have not experienced negative or positive results so I can't comment.

But my points do stand. The very fact that once you are on budget you cannot leave Overture without leaving money in your account which will automatically be deducted over time is ridiculous. I find it surprising that anyone would find that to be an acceptable means of business. I find it entirely unnacceptable.

End point being that it is an inferior service with lots of catches and innadequate support. Perhaps you can use it to generate a good ROI, but that doesn't negate the shady tactics they use to a) keep you as a paying client b) penalize you if you try to leave


5:19 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Your correct, for you it's not a win-win situation with Overture... You need to run over to one of the "has been" 2nd tier PPC's, where it's easier to get your listings active, and you don't have auto replenish, and hand them your $20 bill, and watch them run through your twenty in a day or so, with absolutely ZERO ROI.. :)

In the time you've wasted whining about Overture, I'm sure you could have been doing something productive for your website that would generate positive cash flow...

WebmasterWorld has started to go the way of the "whiners".. If the collective efforts of the whining I've witnessed here in the past few months was harnessed into a centralized positive effort, look out MS.. :)


5:49 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sigh...on the bottom of every page in the direct traffic center to the left of the "support center" link is Overture's phone number.

Who knows maybe they only provide this to advertisers who spend more...


7:10 am on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I agree with RedZone, don't lose so much time talking about how bad you think Overture it is, you can do lots of things to improve conversion rates at your site, do some search engine optimization and even using Google Adwords.



6:39 am on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Mind you, thus far their support has been quite helpful and reasonably fast.


5:52 pm on Mar 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You are set to auto-billing by default. You cannot change this on your own. You have to contact them to do this

I HATE this. Drives me crazy.


6:55 pm on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sigh...on the bottom of every page in the direct traffic center to the left of the "support center" link is Overture's phone number.

There is definitely not a phone number to the left of the Support Center link on my screen. Must only be for the big spenders.... but new advertisers are the ones that probably need the most help, wouldn't you think?


12:22 am on Apr 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Decius,I just got off the phone with a representitive,because I was having a problem with the overture site,I could not turn my listings on or off,
I was on the phone for 5 minutes,and the problem was solved
I have 3 different numbers to call
one is for accounts
one is for technical support
This is the best way to get my sit out there and have had no problems, I had prepay and had it removed upon request
at the account number
I don't know if I can out the numbers on


12:18 am on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

i have until recently always found o/ture to provide good ROI, good customer service and turnaround time for new ads (although i think we all shake our heads and go "what the...?" for some ads declined decisions), but am now having a problem resolving a potential clickspam operator issue. perhaps they are suffering from growing pains?


10:32 pm on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I don't post on this forum, much anymore as all my posts are negative.

But to say the reasons for Overtures problems are "perhaps they are suffering from growing pains?"
is really funny :)

Just compare the Overture forum with the Adwords forum and you can can see who is growing.


Richard Overvold

11:08 pm on Apr 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sigh...on the bottom of every page in the direct traffic center to the left of the "support center" link is Overture's phone number.
Who knows maybe they only provide this to advertisers who spend more...

You hit the nail on the head! You also get the benefit of BULK UPLOAD. I think this is the point when you're spending about $3k a month with them.

Just compare the Overture forum with the Adwords forum and you can can see who is growing.

Oh man. Does this mean Overture is growing? Oh no! :)

Personally, Overture is the best PPC program out there.


9:54 pm on Apr 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

my point was that until recently i have received good service, and a better ROI on O/ture than Adwords. I guess that for most of my keywords the demographics mean that the Adwords users are less likely to be potential purchasors; rather they seem to be "tire kickers" on the whole. but now that i have a click spam problem o/ture doesnt seem to want to know (surprise surprise) but i would guess that if the same problem arose with one of my adwords campaigns, i would have to jump through the same hoops.

i would agree with a lot of the comments (minimum spend, auto billing etc.) but the reality is that with the current marketplace setup (only 2 real players with different market reach/demographics etc.), it is a PPC sellers market. demand is huge so they can set their own conditions. PPC buyers dont really have a choice! i was considering dropping adwords altogether because it just wasnt generating ROI, but i guess a lower ROI is better than no ROI caused by click spam!


12:56 am on Apr 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just registered for overture and they called me to confirm my account. My account was online at noon and in 5 hours, they already charged 180dollars! from my credit card. I set the daily spending budget to 5 dollars and the monthly budget $150. But in 5 hours, i went to sleep and woke up, they have charged 180dollars! #*$!?/!? OVERTURE! <snip>

[edited by: werty at 2:14 pm (utc) on April 28, 2005]
[edit reason] Removed Foul Language - See TOS #13 [/edit]


1:18 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The control panel at Overture is one of the worst I've ever used on any major PPC search engine. It is not user-friendly and extremely extremely slow. Can't be all that wonderful if Google, which launched its PPC years after Overture, has left its rival far behind. I don't know anybody who prefers Overture's interface to Google's.

Does anybody know if there are any plans to improve the interface? Otherwise we are going to close down our account.


1:37 pm on Apr 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

I don't know, but their interface is still far too slow. I have been using it since they first launched in the UK as GoTo. Basically the interface is still the same.

The whole system keeps crashing today when I try and update bids, etc. It does not inspire much confidence in Yahoo/Overture.

Yahoo need to wake up and smell the coffee before MSN start taking market share from them...


1:04 am on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lets put it this way. I spend quite a bit of money with Overture and I am extremely unhappy with their quality of service compared with Google Adwords, especially when it comes down to support, adding new listings, and fraudulent clicks.

I have already posted about this on another forum, but I have to say that its not only the small business that suffer, in some cases its the medium to large business that suffer also, unfortunately they dont have the tracking systems in place to monitor click fraud correctly and subsequently end up getting bilked by Overture and their affiliates.

I can tell you from my personal analysis that 3/5's of all my clicks from Overtures system are complete and utter junk. Fortunately the return on the other 2/5's still makes it worthwhile.


3:06 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

"before MSN start taking market share from them..."

MSN has sold the top 3 sponsored listings directly to advertisers for some time now on practically every keyword more than $1 cost per click.

This has cut dramatically into Yahoo's overall clicks from MSN distribution. I can't wait for MSN to 'spin-off'.


3:32 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just got this in the mail:


Following are the affected listings:

Removed Listings
great-keyword (URL: example.com/somepage)
Reason(s): Guideline for Duplication of Result

Guideline for Duplication of Results
This listing would have created a duplication of results for this keyword. One of our goals is to provide the widest breadth of results to users, and avoid redundant listings. Therefore, an advertiser may list a particular Web site only once per keyword.


Translation. Basically, they removed my top N best-performing keywords. WHAT GIVES? I guess I just didn't pay enough? Is Overture now provides one site per keyword just like Google, and affiliates get screwed?

[edited by: werty at 1:37 pm (utc) on May 3, 2005]
[edit reason] Please do not paste emails see TOS #9 [/edit]


8:08 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Yes I heard that they were going to start putting some closely related keywords together, which will push bid prices up...


12:03 am on May 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

ok, for the record, I agree completely with the complaints about overture. Sure people, it'll get your business out there, but it's ROI is much lower than with google with my business (obviously the only business I can talk about factually), and overture really screwed me around this month with $46 of fees that were for nothing at all. I received no services for those particular $46 and they knew it which is why the refunded it all to me when I complained.

My keywords weren't performing well and they couldn't help me for free when they suggested that they help. That was pretty bad. I used the same keywords and phrases EXACTLY in google adwords and got an amazing ROI and clickthrough rate plus several sales of our services directly from the ads. That made overture look even worse. Overture has terrible, I mean really really bad reporting and administration tools compared to not only google's adwords, but even compared to most of the crappy smaller PPC services. I have tried the small ones and won't go back (terrible ROI - poor visitor quality), but google adwords has paid of with about an 800% profit over cost for us. identical settings in overture, WITH THEIR HELP EVEN, returned a few dollars worth of clicks that were poor quality.

And overture's business practices are very shady - it's soooo close to being illegal to prebill for services automatically from a credit card, I mean that topic has been in court a few times already. $20 / month isn't bad if you have the money, but they SHOULD cater to people who "may" not have that sort of traffic or that sort of money.

But mostly, they shouldn't charge for something they're not giving. The first post in this thread is exactly correct. Most people will spend a minimum of $20 US on a few poor quality clicks to their site because overture charges (penalizes by all common definitions of the word) for poorly performing keywords and keyphrases. They don't even offer to help (without spending more $$$).

Terrible service, I recommend such services to our clients regularly and overture will now be removed from my list of recommended services (sorry, yahoo paid search or whatever it's called now. It's all GOTO.com to me still, same old crap).

Anyway, google adwords are pretty much the only way to go now. I've spent $$ and made $$$$ without any help from humans at google. It was so bloody easy, and I only pay for what they gave me. I think google is a steal, overture is verging on illegal activity (certainly very poor business conduct), and the others are pretty forgettable unless you just want a high hit count without caring if your traffic is actually reading your web site.


Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month