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Overture to Acquire Web Search Unit of Fast Search & Transfer -- FAST

     

Mike_Mackin

1:34 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Overture to Acquire Web Search Unit of Fast Search & Transfer -- FAST

" Businesses using paid inclusion pay a fee to have their Web pages frequently reviewed by a search engine's Web crawler for inclusion in its index, ensuring that the most dynamic content on their Web sites is incorporated. The company said it plans to further enhance the paid inclusion products currently offered by FAST and AltaVista and intends to provide its advertisers with the benefits of consolidated reporting, billing, and a single interface for campaign management for both paid placement and paid inclusion products."

press release [corporate-ir.net]

redlion

2:08 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



He's number 1 for his name on Google - with paper links etc.

I'd better get reading!

vitaplease

2:09 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



What are we going to call this monster?

OveralltheVista?
AlltheVisture?
AlltheAltaisoverforsure?

Wonder if they will all put it into one, in the future, when others ditch Overture as PPC.

Edwin

2:10 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Could the secret behind all these deals be that PPC is so incredibly lucrative that Overture (relatively) quickly makes back what it's spending to buy out Altavista and now FAST simply by keeping in-house 100% of the PPC revenue, instead of having to split it with partners.

If the above theory is true, then you can probably expect to see them continue to snap up search partners who are serving up large numbers of Overture-based queries. I would have thought Excite/IWon would be an incredibly obvious target for them to go after next... if there is a "next", that is!

Brett_Tabke

2:10 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



>Why did they buy Altavista in the first place?

Took it off the table from Yahoo, Microsoft and etal. If they have it - no one else can have it.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Tor

2:11 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What are we going to call this monster?

OverAltaFast

heini

2:12 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



So it looks like we have an answer to the surprising prologment of INKT with MS. Nothing but a short term solution, until things are all in place for the big change.

Shak

2:12 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



Could the secret behind all these deals be that PPC is so incredibly lucrative that Overture (relatively) quickly makes back what it's spending to buy out Altavista and now FAST simply by keeping in-house 100% of the PPC revenue, instead of having to split it with partners.

hit the nail on the head there, why pay out 50% or more when you can buy them with 6 mths payouts etc etc.

nice work, until the PPC game is over.

Shak

Edwin

2:12 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In a follow-up to my own follow-up above, I would also expect that Lycos might be a good target, since their primary search is fed from FAST and their secondary search is fed by Overture - in other words, Overture will control 100% of the data sources feeding Lycos.

dannysullivan

2:13 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I don't understand - Why did they buy Altavista in the first place?

As Brett said, "taking the pieces off the table." By grabbing AltaVista (which MSN was also interested in) and FAST, Overture prevents competitors (and partners) from getting these services.

Yahoo can stay independent of such a move since it has Inktomi. But MSN, if it wants to own the technology, has fewer people to purchase: namely LookSmart (for WiseNut).

It could of course look at maybe getting Ask Jeeves. But frankly, Microsoft is the one player with enough case to afford Google. It said that it sees Google as a competitor in the past, but if it feels Yahoo and Overture might be pushing it into a corner, perhaps it might want to own that competitor -- assuming Google was willing to sell.

Just think though. every search using OV,AV and fast are now under the control of overture. That must be a large chunk of marketshare, any ideas how that compares to Google?

Hardly at all. AltaVista has something like a 4 percent share; AllTheWeb.com doesn't register at all on the radar. FAST feeds Lycos, which also has a tiny share. Overture, of course, has a huge reach in terms of its paid distribution. But in terms of editorial/crawler results, Overture gains little. In terms of those with decent crawler based technology, Overture now controls 2 of the 6 players; Yahoo has Inktomi; LookSmart has WiseNut; Ask Jeeves has Teoma and Google, well, Google still has Google.

[edited by: dannysullivan at 2:16 pm (utc) on Feb. 25, 2003]

heini

2:14 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



Lycos is a giant, another league than AV, or Fast web divison. No way, plus they are bleeding big money.

rubble88

2:17 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I spent last Wednesday visiting AltaVista's hq. The mood there was VERY upbeat (not what I was expecting). An Overture official told me then that they (again, last week) that they would continue to operate AV as a sep entity.

I'm wondering what the ATW acquisition means for AV. I'm also wondering what the mood is like at ATW.

Travoli

2:17 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My hope is that they ACTIVELY promote AV and Fast as search engines on television, etc... and concentrate on relevant results to compete with Google.

This would solidify Overture's partner network. They need the partners to survive. Owning and promoting them sure is a good way to keep the traffic flowing to PPC.

I am sure we will see additional PPC listings in the aquisitions.

lazerzubb

2:17 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Danny, i see it clearer that Ms buys Overture, than buying Google, yes they have the money, but there is to much implications with employees and operating system etc, i mean should they change 12-20000 servers from Linux to Windows?

Looksmart is also a possibility.

redlion

2:17 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



And ownership of Lycos differs in makeup by continent - TerraLycos, Lycos Europe,Lycos Asia.

Hard to buy as an all in one.

4eyes

2:18 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I guess they will use the SE technology of FAST and match it with the market awareness of AV

This is looking really interesting

Lingerboy

2:19 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have the definative name:

"O"verture + "A"ltaVista + "F"AST = Oaf

Perfect!

Ha!

vitaplease

2:19 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



I doubt there has been an industry with such a reshuffle consolidation in such a short time.

Yes, MSN buying Looksmart for Wisenut, then filling it with cash to spider/index.

Yes Lycos is the next to go for sure and OV seems the logical gobbler.

and Google is laughing all the way with all this confusion..
(never to be bought by MSN or i'll eat my hat)

heini

2:22 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



>I'm also wondering what the mood is like at ATW

Generally I would think the ATW folks will see a big light at the end of a long tunnel.
The ATW unit has for a long time been artificially restricted to a R & D sandbox. I suppose any change will be welcome to the people in charge of developing the engine.

Tor

2:23 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



(never to be bought by MSN or i'll eat my hat)

What kind of hat are we talking about vitaplease? A Stetson?

webbie

2:24 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What are we going to call this monster?

Altoverfast or Altoverweb ;)

NeedScripts

2:24 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I guess this creates room for new search engine/s :)

celerityfm

2:25 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Now Google has compitetion. Overture has the tools to take them on.

I hope so. But only if Overture appreciates a true search engine, not one tainted by paid placement /pfi. The fact that Microsoft signed with Yahtomi through 2005 just makes me think they aren't going to be doing any SE acquisitions any time soon. But then again, who knows. :)

agerhart

2:26 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



I know that many of us have been hoping for a long time that something would happen with Fast/AllTheWeb, as it is a great search engine with a good algo. They simply did not market, advertise, or get the branding that they need to compete with a search engine like Google.

This may not be the ideal situation, as we don't know what Overture plans to do with Fast, but at least something happened.

Overture now has the branding and technology of AV, the European branding and presence of Fast, their great search technology, as well as Overture's leading presence in PPC. Big guns.

Lingerboy

2:26 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The Oaf will conquer all. Beware the Oaf.

heini

2:33 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

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



But...ya. In a way it's sad. What has begun as a research project at a norwegian university will now be merged into a super conglomerate and effectively vanish.

Good for FAST and Norway, that the main part of the tech and the research will remain with the FAST enterprise branch.
And very likely the stockholders will benefit immensly.

[edited by: heini at 2:46 pm (utc) on Feb. 25, 2003]

Mike_Mackin

2:37 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Let's say that you are Tim Cadogan [webmasterworld.com] and you have a plan. You are the vice president of search at Overture and must know as of January 28, 2003 [internetnews.com] that AV & FAST deals are in the works. Then why would you leave to take the same position at Yahoo!

redlion

2:39 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



So you can build a new PPC for them, with more funding than last time, and do it better from day one?

Just speculation!

MetropolisRobot

2:42 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My 2c. Given Microsoft's strategy in the past I believe that MS may come out with its own service, and I mean service rather than just a search engine. With the .NET tools they could provide a very cool engine that people could plug in to in the same manner that Google and Amazon provide web services.

Microsoft has a track record of watching and waiting, and then taking an idea and doing it well. If they were to enter the arena with their own technology that somehow integrated with the desktop in a seamless manner then they would have a commanding position in the marketplace.

Overture's move seems a good one and fuelled by ppc profits they can make these acquisitions and not feel too much pain. Or at least they should be able to recoup their outgoings relatively quickly.

Basically though I do see that the FAST results will now be skewed to ppc overture results so all the time and effort we have spent on doing SEO for FAST may be undone.

In the short term then it makes Google and Teoma even more important for SEO / ranking efforts, unless you have deep pockets.

Tor

2:43 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



And very likely the stockholders will benefit immensly.

So far the stock is up 18%.

You are right heini. The most profitable part of their technology remains with Fast. 75% of their revenue comes from the corporate search sector. So you can say that they have sold the least profitable part of their business to Overture.

Grumpus

2:51 pm on Feb 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The real question for me is will OV go for portals only, or will there be a dedicated search destination, taking it up with Google?

From the Article:

Overture said it will utilize both the FAST and AltaVista sites to advance the company's product development process. The company will use FAST's technology showcase site, AlltheWeb.com, to test and experiment with advanced approaches in search. At the same time, the company will use the AltaVista.com site, which operates on a larger scale, to refine implementations for new products and improve presentation to consumers.

Comparing it to google, that makes Alltheweb as www2 and www3 and AV as www. Or something along those lines...

G.

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