Yahoo! to Shed Overture Brand

  |  March 1, 2005   |  Comments

Portal giant moves to integrate its paid search unit.

First it was GoTo.com, then Overture. Now, it will be Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions.

A little less than two years after Yahoo acquired paid search player Overture, the portal is bestowing it with a new Yahoo brand identity. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is expected to announce the abandonment of the Overture brand in his keynote address at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York Tuesday.

The change, which will be implemented in the second quarter, is designed to further integrate the search marketing unit into Yahoo’s advertising operations so it can cross-sell advertisers on all the portal’s offerings.

"The point of this is really to bring all of the search marketing and related products under one banner," said Gaude Paez, a Yahoo spokesperson. "As we add products in that field we’ll see them under that same umbrella."

Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions will encompass all the existing Overture products, and Yahoo products like Yahoo Shopping’s Product Submit and Yahoo Directory’s Express will also be marketed under the new brand name.

Overture’s Web site and all its offerings will be ported over into a new Advertising Solutions Center Web site, where advertisers can access search marketing tools as well as the company’s other offerings.

"It’s the first of several steps we’re going to be taking this year to make things easier for our advertisers," said Paez.

Though Paez wouldn’t elaborate on future plans, allowing advertisers to manage all their Yahoo-based marketing efforts via one log-in and interface would be one possible improvement. Currently, advertisers have one log-in for Overture and a separate one for Yahoo programs.

The company plans to unveil a new logo for the unit and will conduct online and direct campaigns to introduce it to advertisers in the second quarter.

Separately, Yahoo announced another change that also serves to integrate Overture into the parent company. Yahoo will debut application program interfaces, or APIs (define), for Web search, video search, image search, news search and local search on Tuesday. These will allow SEM agencies and technology companies to build tools that tie into Yahoo’s algorithmic search, just as they do its paid search via Overture’s APIs.

"It creates a more complete set of APIs for those who cover SEO as well as SEM," said Eckart Walther, director of product development at Yahoo Search.

The addition of the new APIs, which will be aggregated at developer.yahoo.com, will also make the Overture API accessible on a self-service basis. Previously, developers had to email Overture to set up access. The new site will host discussion groups and a wiki (define) where developers can collaborate and get help implementing their ideas.

"It’s this whole idea of opening up Yahoo," said Yang in his keynote speech. "We’re starting with search, and we hope to do it with other areas as well. There’s a huge incentive in not only having something like this, but also tying it to a monetization scheme."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

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