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" 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]
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!
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.
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]
I'm wondering what the ATW acquisition means for AV. I'm also wondering what the mood is like at ATW.
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.
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)
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.
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. :)
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.
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]
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.
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.
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...