Overture, InfoSpace in it for the Long Haul

  |  August 29, 2002   |  Comments

In its latest extension, the collaboration between the two search firms will continue into 2006.

Overture has succeeded in extending a contract under which it provides paid search listings to Web portal and search firm InfoSpace .

The deal between Pasadena, Calif.-based Overture and InfoSpace, which has offices in Bellevue, Wash., extends the pair's original deal until March 2006. Previously, an earlier agreement between the companies had been extended to February 2004.

The expanded partnership gives Overture a longer term for placement on sites that syndicate InfoSpace's meta-search, including The Excite Network's excite.com, Dogpile, WebCrawler and MetaCrawler.

"InfoSpace is an important long-term strategic partner for Overture," said Bill Demas, senior vice president and general manager of Overture's affiliate business group. "InfoSpace is the leading meta-search provider with relationships across the search landscape and we look forward to working with them as their premier paid search provider."

InfoSpace also has a similar agreement with Overture rivals LookSmart and FindWhat , and Ask Jeeves' Sprinks, though Overture receives top placement in InfoSpace's Web search returns, while other providers' results appear below along with non-commercial listings.

In May, InfoSpace began distributing paid search listings based on meta-search to excite.com and WebCrawler, and inked a new deal that expanded LookSmart's listings syndication to those properties.

The efforts by InfoSpace to launch its meta-search and lock in content partners comes as search continues to prove itself one of the more resilient sectors of the weak online ad industry.

At the same time, relevance has re-established itself as a major deciding factor in consumers' choice of which search engines to use, with the rise of Google. Recent studies have shown that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's users are among the most brand-loyal, driven in large part because of the search engine's relevancy.

Earlier this year, San Francisco-based LookSmart acquired WiseNut, a small startup with technology similar to Google's, to better the relevancy of its own listings. Ask Jeeves, too, made a similar acquisition with its purchase of Teoma. Meta-search, in this case, represents another way of seeking to deliver search results relevant to users' queries: by aggregating the top results of a number of different search partners.

"InfoSpace's meta-search products highlight the strengths of many of the Web's major search properties. As the leader in Pay-For-Performance search, Overture's results play a key role in this effort," said York Baur, InfoSpace executive vice president, wireline and broadband. "The extension of our relationship with Overture ensures that high-quality Pay-For-Performance results are delivered to the millions of users of our Web search properties."

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