efforts in the Australian market have taken
a body blow as News Interactive yesterday became
the third major online publisher to sign a
search marketing distribution agreement with
Yahoo's subsidiary Overture.
News Corporation Ltd's online arm joined
Fairfax's F2 and CNN in ditching Google in
favour of Overture, which has also signed No1
website publisher Ninemsn in the four months
since it opened a local office. Both News
Interactive - which publishes AustralianIT
- and F2 had been Google customers for just over
losses for Google's local operations come as
the company prepares for its highly anticipated
$US2.7 billion ($3.9 billion) float.
deal was Overture's most comprehensive to date,
as Overture would also provide search
functionality within NI websites and contextual
advertisements alongside content services, which
NI managing director Nic Jones said Google had
been unable to offer in Australia. But there was
general dissatisfaction with Google's service.
reality is they haven't committed that much
resources and time to Australia because they've
worried more about other areas," he said.
"We've had six different account managers
within Google in a very short space of time, and
getting them to concentrate has been pretty
would suspect others have had similar
agreement was initially for three years and
Mr Jones, who was formerly the managing director
of Yahoo Australia, said other Overture
partnerships were being discussed. Google
declined to comment.
marketing, which allows publishers to
display relevant text-based advertisements next
to search results with particular keywords, has
grown quickly and is expected to be worth more
than $US2 million this year, providing a badly
needed second wind for the online advertising
market after the dotcom crash.
pioneered the concept before it was bought
by Yahoo in July, but Google and other
companies, such as Australian-founded LookSmart,
have also offered search marketing services.
Australian managing director, Mel Bohse,
said that, unlike Google, her company did not
have its own high-profile web presence, which
meant there was less risk to publishers of their
readers being diverted to another search
destination. Ms Bohse said that the agreement
took Overture's distribution reach to 85 per
cent of Australia's online population.
marketing allows advertisers to bid against
competitors by paying more to receive a more
prominent placement in the case of popular
Bohse said that, unlike its competitors,
Overture employed editorial staff to ensure the
keyword placements were being bought by
companies with a legitimate link to the word.
pointed to the Jetstar launch, when Flight
Centre bought advertising links on Google so
that web users searching for "Jetstar"
were served up sponsored links to the travel
would never happen on Overture. It's not a good
experience for consumers to be taken somewhere
they don't want to go," Ms Bohse said.
it's not good for advertisers, they're looking
for qualified leads."
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