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About Overture

Of all pay per click search engines only Google AdWords has a more broad distribution than Overture. Yahoo purchased Overture in 2003 along with AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Inktomi to own their own end to end search product.

Currently Overture is used to provide paid search listings on many of the top search engines and internet portals such as: Alltheweb, AltaVista, Yahoo, MSN, and many other portals, search engines, and web sites.

Try Overture


Overture Details

minimum CPC
cost to open an account
promotional specials

$25 deposit bonus

monthly minimum
time to set up an account
1 week
web reach
Advertise with Overture.
$25 deposit bonus

Similarities between Overture and Google AdWords

  • Overture has a program similar to AdSense called Content Match. This program distributes Overture ads near the content of popular sites. Overture is currently only making promotion partnerships with large web sites.
  • Overture offers regional advertising like AdWords does. The Overture Local Match product does not have a minimum monthly spend. Overture Local Match also does not even require you to have a website to participate. It does require you to have a physical address to participate.
  • Both Overture and AdWords have amazingly large distribution networks.
  • Overture has broad matching features which enable you to expand to misspellings and synonyms.
  • Overture has a ROI / bid management tool which can help monitor and improve your listings.
  • Google AdWords and Overture both offer free ROI tracking tools.
  • Both Overture and Google AdWords have a negative keyword tool which prevents you from paying for clickthroughs on irrelevant terms. Good terms to cancel out are usually: cheap, free, download, cracks, mp3s, wallpapers.. the type of terms where it is obvious the searcher would not likely convert to a sale or perform the desired action.

Difference between Overture and Google AdWords

  • Overture defaults to exact match ad listings, which means ads that exactly match a search term will show above broad match ads that match it, even if the broad match bid is higher.
  • Overture is strictly price driven. Google AdWords is mathematically driven based on consumer driven relevancy. The AdWords price is a function of cost per click * ad relevancy (based on click through rate.)
  • Overture takes a few days to set up an account - Google is almost instant. (less than 5 minutes)
  • Overture Local Match also does not even require you to have a website to participate. It does require you to have a physical address to participate. Google AdWords does not require a physical address and does require a website.
  • Google AdSense ads can appear on smaller sites. Overture is extremely selective with its partners (other than when it partners with companies like Gator / Claria).
  • Google allows syndication to be turned on or off so that your ad can appear in front of just Google users, or AOL users too. Since Overture drives most their traffic through partner sites they do not have a feature that allows you to turn search partner syndication off.
  • Google only costs $5 to open an account. Overture costs $50 and has a $20 monthly minimum spend.
  • Google has automatic approval of all ads - and will list them as long as they follow the guidelines. Overture usually reviews most ads before showing them.

Types of Overture Accounts

Overture has two account types, Self Serve and Fast Track. Self Serve promotion accounts are for those who already know a little about marketing and the internet. Overture Fast Track adds a few features such as

  • search term selection assistance
  • title and description assistance
  • budget management assistance
  • Free Account Optimization
  • Assistance with Tracking URLs
  • 6 months of priority service
  • and automatic editorial approval

The cost for fast track is a one time $199 fee. If you know little about the above categories it is the correct path to take. If you do know about the above categories you may be better off with self serve. I recommend most people learn enough about PPC to control their own ads, or outsource it to a quality SEM company.

Suggestion for Overture

I still prefer Google AdWords since they have many benefits over Overture. If you are reliant on pay per click advertising Overture is a must have account though. Between Overture and Google AdSense you probably have something on the order of 96% web reach.

If you do use Overture it is highly recommended that you use tracking software (or the tracking software they provide). If you will be spending a large sum of money I would recommend using an automated price per click bid management tool.

Some Overture distribution partners will cut some of the ads short. Make sure your most important ad elements are at the beginning of the ad title and ad description.

Do not get in bidding wars for generic terms. Opt to bid on more specific terms.

Send people to targeted landing pages when possible.

Overture Tools

Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool
Overture View Bid Tool

Sign Up for Overture

With Overture you set your own cost-per-lead and pay only for targeted customers. Advertise with Overture. ($25 signup bonus!)


See also:

Overture is owned by Yahoo!

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Today is 02/24/24 . This file was last modified on 05/11/13