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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]
...advertisers with the benefits of consolidated reporting, billing, and a single interface for campaign management for both paid placement and paid inclusion products."
Also perhaps an attempt to bring PFI to a current PPC captive market. Anyone, with no SEO knowledge, can set up an overture PPC account, but you need a little bit more web experience to go for a PFI. Its my guess that overture will try hard to convert PPC current clients to PFI clients.
IMHO, I think it is too little too late though. Alta Vista has been all but abandoned by the average surfer and Fast never got there to begin with. It would take an MSN , AOL or Yahoo buyout to really kick this chess match up a notch. Don't count out AOL or even Yahoo in this thing. They still have options here.
The Googleplex must be buzzing! No time to rest on your laurels GG. I hope you guys have something really interesting up your sleeves to counter what appears to be an all out attempt to dethrone you as king of the Search Engines!
Heck, who knows ... maybe Google will buy out Overture and take home the majority of pieces! Then it will just be Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL & LookSmart.
Overture's "traffic acquisition costs," or TAC, which describe the amount of revenue Overture shares with its search-page partners, rose to 62% from 59% a year ago. Overture estimated that these costs would rise in the first quarter to 63% or 64%.
Overture will acquire FAST's Internet business unit for $70 million in cash, as well as performance-based cash incentive payments for up to $30 million over three years.
Pandia [pandia.com] says OV will take over Fast datacenters in Sacramento, Cal. and London.
Performance based cash?
I expect to see the Altavista and Fast PFI programs combined as they dump Alta junk search and create one database on Fast technology.
[edited by: JeremyL at 3:34 pm (utc) on Feb. 25, 2003]
That's what they imply, but it is no doubt untrue.
They COULD be gearing up for portalization, but you need market share for that to work, and they have no natural constituency. Neither AV or FAST will deliver that for them. They would need to make yet another acquisition.
One of the big downsides for me is that Overture traditionally have no respect for search relevancy or quality. Unless that has changed, and I see NO evidence that it has, they will wreck both AV and FAST in terms of quality by forcing ads in there.
This of course would have a knock on effect as well if they did take the portal route. The portal would probably be as useless as MSN for search with far too much ‘monetization’ (it’s in their DNA).
The bit in brackets is critical by the way…. these guys are money money money. Expect anything they touch to be wrecked. Mark my words!
Saddly, I only see such an aquisition by ms as tougher times ahead for 'small guys' to get anywhere and succeed on the web. Everything will be *so* profit driven, pop-ups will be the least of your net worries in the years to come. And any company without a massive ad budget to feed ms or its competitors (which will need to keep up with ms to keep share prices up) - will be doomed. Sounds gloomy, but I don't think too out of line.
That is, if OV allows for a constant development and improvement. And if the techies from all three companies work together.
I doubt many people would cry if the Federal Trade Commission decided to step-up and demand free listings center page and only side panels for paid inclusions similar to what Google does already.
PPC has gotten out of hand and the verification of true clicks is harder and harder to know. Overture with their 'patent pending' click-through protection is a joke.