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Yahoo! turns 10, absorbs Overture

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March 14, 2005

Yahoo! consolidated its advertising, search and directory products under one brand two weeks ago, renaming Overture Services, its wholly owned search engine subsidiary, Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions.

In addition to the new brand, Yahoo! said it will launch an advertising solutions center to help businesses plan and buy search marketing and brand advertising online. It also formally announced the launch of the Yahoo! Search Developer Network, which will give developers access to Web service application program interfaces (APIs) for Yahoo! Search products.

The announcements were made at Jupitermedia’s Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York, on the eve of Yahoo!’s 10th anniversary.

"This unifies the way to think about Yahoo! Search, and it’s not just a rebranding," said Jerry Yang, co-founder and director of Yahoo!, in a keynote Q&A at the Jupiter show. "It’s also a long-term solution to unifying the brand." Yahoo! completed its acquisition of Overture in 2003 for $1.8 billion.

During the talk, Yang hinted at more developments in 2005 that will continue to extend the Yahoo! brand. Yahoo! is exploring opportunities in behavior-based search and personalized content, as well as search beyond the desktop, Yang said. "Integration around devices is where a lot of the growth will be," he said. "We’re blending services in a way that we hope will be seamless for the user."

Yang said jettisoning the Overture name was natural, given the growth of the search business. "Search is not just an activity or a destination," he said. "It’s becoming more integrated and more of a platform."

"We think this is good for marketers in three ways," said Ted Meisel, president of Overture Services and senior VP of Yahoo! "It builds awareness. It makes our products more accessible to them by making them easier to find, [and] it underscores Yahoo!’s commitment to take a whole set of search products and over time integrate them into one easy-to-use interface."

Carol Krol

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