Yahoo re-branding Overture

The Sunnyvale, California based Yahoo announced an agreement to buy Overture, largest pay per click advertising network so far, in 2003 for a total value of $1.6 billion. The effort was made primarily to compete in paid per click marketing against Google�s adwords.

Last week Yahoo announced that they have decided to rename Overture, a re-branding procedure that isn�t unknown by the pay per click service since in 1998 it was originally created under the name of Go To. However the commercial effort is not only a surface change but more of a deep shift in Yahoo�s strategy to host all advertising services under one roof. Sponsored search is now the new name of the search advertising service and the local paid search becomes Local sponsored search, not a big change though.
Online paid advertisement and especially pay per click are probably confusing for less experienced online marketers and by keeping all sponsored services under the same label Yahoo is expecting to attract more customers. The significant investments made by Microsoft to launch the AdCenter as soon as possible this year and the increased popularity of Google Adwords is putting more pressure on the company created in early 1995 by David Filo and Jerry Yang.

The search portal giant announced a broad range of new services, improvement and lately aquired Flikr. Overall Yahoo�s marketing plan seems to fit its main competitors� creating social networking plus simplifying online advertisement opportunities.
However Yahoo�s strategy seems somehow unnatural, pushed by the competition. It is important to mention that the core of the industry is the search engine itself. Yahoo, for the first time communicated it�s latest update on April 1st , a very dangerous public relation game since 7 days after, Yahoo�s result page were changing again more or less towards the pre-update rankings, loosing on its way multiple valuable websites, relevancy did not seem to improve. Worst is this bizarre manner Yahoo is used to index certain sites, totally forgetting certain pages here, a whole site there or another homepage with no valuable reason while keeping clearly unethical websites on top for certain search terms.

The bottom line is that in this competition Yahoo is doing important commercial efforts but may totally loose part of its credibility as far as search results. Still it should be the main focus of this giant portal�s engineer because the amount of investment, the load of work and the growing credibility of competitor MSN is a real threat and this is not to mention Google�s creativity to defeat competitors.

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