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Overture has signed an agreement to become the Pay-For-Performance™ search
to Yahoo!'s millions of users. As a result of this deal and the holiday
Overture's Premium Listings™ advertisers can anticipate a significant
in high quality traffic. To get the benefit of additional targeted leads for
your business, you must be listed in Premium Listings™ (the top three
and you should increase the charge amount for your payment plan.
(edited by: Hunter at 1:19 am (gmt) on Nov. 14, 2001)
I'm not clear on if it is above their listed categories or above their web page results (from Google).
Or maybe that rumour about going back to Inktomi will be true....and Yahoo will be 100% paid listings in various ways.
"Overture's top three search listings at the top of the page in a section
"Sponsor Matches." Users will also see two Overture listings at the bottom
the page in a section called "More Sponsor Matches." This agreement will be
over the next two weeks, beginning on Thursday, November 15, 2001."
"The portal will feature Overture's top five for-fee listings in a clearly marked section separate from the results retrieved by Google, Yahoo's search partner. "
I interpret this to say that the paid listings will be displayed on Yahoo's web pages section, not the yahoo directory section..
Overture will supply five paid listings to Yahoo! search pages, and will pay Yahoo! every time a user clicks on one of the links. Yahoo! says the advertisers' listings will be shown in clearly marked sections, separate from other relevant findings...
...The deal with Overture, which expires in April, can serve as a short-term solution for Yahoo! until it can develop the sales force and technical capability to offer the paid search listings itself.
Associated Press article [nando.net]
The little guy gets cut out again by a deal like this. This whole search engine marketing thing is becoming more difficult as the search engine market matures but I had a feeling this would happen anyway. Most engines now have some sort of PPC in their results ... Add Yahoo to the list.
Depending on where exactly the Overture results go, people will become proportionately disaffected with results, and go to "clean relevance rather than paid for results". That said, my feeling is that GoTo/Overture listings wont be as conspicuosly displayed as paid for results. They would face a PR nightmare if so. My feeling is that any Search Facility that incoporates GoTo results, which are a shopping/commercial/yellow pages facility rather than an information facility, immediately compromises their reputation as a provider of relevant results.
My strong feeling is that yahoo is actually one of the best portals. Their news, free disk space, instant messenger, yahoo groups, are actually top quality fast loading stuff, with relatively fewer ad content than competing portals (I guess MSN is their closest competitor). Add yahoo games, calendar, mail, stock quotes and a heap of other useful stuff all acessed by one ID, and they are gearing up to monitize their portal services as people get dependent and familiar to the free services.
That is their strategy, figuring people wont pay for search, but will pay for a good integrated information portal. The Overture move is to attract cash on a search service clearly going backwards and less strategically important to long term goals. We all know their search is inferior to google, fast, teoma, wisenut, and possibly even other directories such as OPC/DMOZ. It is just used because of brand recognition by relatively new Net users. Search is becoming less and less a key component of their revenue model.
That is all of course speculation, but I would put a couple of bucks on it at evens.
I don't mind PPC and it has its place in search engines but I wish there was a way to level the playing ground for everyone like maybe Goto could rotate TOP 10 results in the top 3 slots of major engines giving more variety and more of a chance of exposure for smaller businesses. Alas, they will never do this because why would they want to show a #10 bid for .05 when they got 3 bids at 1.50 at 1,2,3 ???
Hopefully, users will see through the paid listings and get to the meat of the search engine results that are served up by Google but that remains to be seen.
And really im not willing to pay $20 US a month to access a big mega mall.
alternative models exist... like public, corporate, and academic libraries, funding could come from government sources, PLUS, there will always be a place for "free" search engines, Google says they are making money. The key alternative model is that people may well be ready to PAY for untainted results soon. I know I would be willing to pay to use GOOGLE (or FAST) for search at a reasonable cost. It is worth it in the saving on time on having to download ads, misleading information and completely irrelevant commercial pitches.
The day the Web loses access to not for profit sites, weblogs, government and NGO stats, academic sites is the day the Web dies.
But I dont see that happening. I am absolutely sure that new ways will continue to be developed to provide ways to find these sites, mainly vortals, subject specialists and the like, RSS, and much open source stuff going on. Ive said for many months that the mega comprehensive search engine is a model with a use-by date.
When the internet was funded by the government, information was far less, but much what was available was useful objective information. I dont see any reason why givernments will not see good reasons for funding the non-commercial internet still.
The lifeblood of the internet is linking (citation). People are willing to link to objective good info, but not commercials so much. A good informative page will attract much linking naturally, more cost effectively than writing pleasding for reciprocal links.
So it may not be that mom and pops individuals and non-commercial sites suffer as much, but just that commercial ventures will find it more and more expensive.
Well, I think it will be one or the other or a combination of the two: sites will pay to be listed; or users (searchers) will pay to search. But what was once free will no longer be so.
I don't like it, as most who post here don't. But the reality is that somebody is going to pay for the service so many sites formerly enjoyed for free. Since advertising by Amazon and other big players does not anymore pay enough to Yahoo! and Excite, Lycos, etc, we will pay. As for Google making money: yes - because Yahoo! and others "rent" Google's search engine. But they can't pay that rent without income of their own.
Nope I think we will see other approaches, more intranet customers, other deals ala Yahoo, subscription search, maybe more ad words.
Their most obvious competitive advantage is relevance (and in second place speed) Lose that and they lose their reason for existance.
Much more likely too with competitors like Fast, Teoma, Wisenut now competing directly on relevance if not brand recognition.
I agree with a previous poster that SERPs for highly optimized terms may be little better than PPC. But optimized terms are very few, viagr*, se*, SEO, etc, Go to Overture's SERPS for more specific terms and compare to Google. for those Im targeting, Overture returns a mass of very broadly relevant pages, hardly worth searching for, and commercial pitches, (except for our own Overture listings!)
Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck singing: -
Overture, curtain, lights.
This is it, the night of nights.
No more rehearsing and nursing our part
We know every part by heart.
Overture, curtain, lights.
This is it, we'll hit the heights.
And oh, what heights we'll hit.
On with the show, this is it.
I havn't quite decided though whether that means that Overture is headed for success, or ....
Hmmm, I'll get back to you on that.