Yahoo Drops Overture Name, Eyes Weblogs

The company's co-founder announces that the paid-search division will fall under the Yahoo brand and discusses Yahoo's future in personal media and blogging.

NEW YORK—On the eve of its 10-year birthday, Yahoo Inc. moved to make its brand synonymous with search advertising and laid out a future focused on personal media.

Yahoo is dropping the Overture Services brand and renaming its search-based advertising services Yahoo Search Marketing Solutions, company co-founder Jerry Yang announced Tuesday during a keynote at the Search Engine Strategies 2005 Conference & Expo here.

In 2003, Yahoo acquired Overture to compete in the lucrative business of selling keywords to trigger sponsored links alongside search results and Web content. Yahoo officials said in a statement that they are moving Overture under the Yahoo umbrella to integrate and simplify its online advertising offerings.

The name change will occur during the second quarter of the year in the United States and then be rolled out internationally. The Overture brand will remain in Japan and Korea.

Along with sponsored links, Yahoos search-marketing group will include Overtures services for submitting sites into the Yahoo search index and its advertiser tools for managing campaigns, the company announced.

Yahoos advertising moves come on the same day that the Sunnyvale, Calif., company opened developer access to both its Web search engine and its vertical search services and technologies.

On Wednesday, Yahoo will officially turn 10 years old, and co-founder Yang said that it has come a long way from the days he helped create the directory of Web sites that became Yahoo.

"What started out as a simple directory now has become people doing [categorization] around tagging and around open standards," Yang said. "Its not meant for a couple people sitting around a room categorizing."

As for next steps, Yang told conference attendees that Yahoo wants to be at the forefront of letting users create personalized media that they can access in multiple ways, whether on the Web or on mobile devices.

"Yahoo has to focus on our user base and our user needs more than ever," Yang said. "We talk about taking mass media and making it my media."

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here to read about Yahoos integration of RSS feeds into its services.

Weblogging will be part of Yahoos focus on personalized media. The company already is offering blog-publishing services in Japan and Korea, Yang said. While he didnt say whether Yahoo would provide similar services in the U.S. market, he did say that Yahoo will tie blogging into more of its services in the next few months.

He made reference to Yahoos experience in helping users create Web pages through its GeoCities service.

"Following our experience in GeoCities, which still has millions and millions of home pages, you can look for us to be fairly open and encouraging people to use the tools we already have to leverage blogging," Yang said. "Blogging has great content and great community appeal."

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