Overture Inks Homestore to Search, Contextual Ad Deal

Overture Services announced on Wednesday a deal to provide paid search and contextual advertising for real estate site Homestore.

The 18-month deal calls for Overture’s paid listings to appear on non-real estate searches on Homestore’s network of real estate sites. The listings will appear under “Sponsored Results.” In addition, Homestore signed up to use Overture’s contextual advertising product, Content Match. Content Match scans a page for its meaning and serves related text links in an ad unit. These ads will appear on certain pages of the Homestore’s network.

The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed. Typically, paid search and contextual advertising deals are on a revenue share basis, with both parties divvying up the revenue generated each time a user clicks on a link.

This is the third deal for Overture that bundles its paid search and contextual advertising product. In July, it signed a deal with Knight Ridder Digital that included both services. A week earlier, Canadian portal Sympatico contracted to use Overture paid search and contextual listings, in addition to its algorithmic search through FAST.

Homestore will redesign some of its pages to include search boxes that will return Overture paid listings exclusively, instead of Web results and paid listings.

“We took a look at the available service providers, and we chose Overture because they have a good advertiser base that was closely aligned with our needs,” said Robert Carl, a spokesman for Homestore.

Carl said the two companies’ tech teams were still working on the exact placement of the Content Match ad units. He expects the search and contextual listings will go live in “the next several weeks.”

Overture said the deal was a competitive win over Google, which got a jump on Overture by releasing its AdSense product in February. Google has signed up a number of premium partners, including Forbes.com, while welcoming thousands of small sites via its self-service program that allows small-scale publishers to sign up online to carry AdSense ads. About’s Sprinks also competes in the contextual listings market, with a distribution network that includes CBS MarketWatch.com and MSNBC.

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