Overture Becomes Yahoo Search Marketing & Comparing Listing Products At Yahoo To Google

The rebranding promised in March has happened. Overture has officially become Yahoo Search Marketing, marked by the launch of a new Yahoo Search Marketing site that lists all of Yahoo’s search-related listing products.

It’s a good change that ought to help new advertisers. Rather than having to explain that they need to buy “Overture” to be on Yahoo, Yahoo can now direct them to a site that retains its branding.

But with rebranding can come confusion, so I thought it would be helpful to look at all the products listed at the new site and also compare them to Google products. In particular, an email I got from a reader prompted the idea:

I am trying to find the “comparable” Yahoo program to Google AdWords. Since their rebranding of Overture last week, I’m still looking unsuccessfully for something like Precision Match, but it looks as if the program has been axed?

We’ve been using Google AdWords since it launched and are very happy with the format and back office (most of all the results). Is Yahoo offering a similar program? Honestly, I’ve read about their “Sponsored Search” and it’s simply not obvious.

Meanwhile at our Search Engine Watch forums, a thread on the rebranding shows similar confusion:

I thought Overture was being renamed to Yahoo Search Marketing, but this page boasts a range of products, including Shopping, Travel, Directory, PPI & Overture (sponsored search).

The chart below gives you a side-by-side look at all the products listed on the new Yahoo site, along with some other listings areas that I thought made sense to add. If you’re a Search Engine Watch member, see this extended post that provides commentary and additional advice and information about each listing area.

Listing Type Yahoo Google
Web Search
Submit Your Site
Add Your URL
To Google
Web Search
Paid Inclusion
Search Submit Express &
Search Submit Pro
(but advertisers can get listing support)
Search Ads
(Paid Placement)
(search targeted)
Contextual Ads Content
(content-targeted; AdSense is name for PUBLISHER program)
Shopping Listings Product
Froogle Feed
Travel Listings Travel Submit n/a
Directory Listings Directory Submit ODP Submit
Local Search Ads Local Sponsored Search AdWords Regional & Local Targeting
Local Search Listings Local Enhanced Listings & Local Listings (free) Google Local Business Center
News Listings Yahoo News Submissions Google News
Source Suggestion

Web Search Listings: This is what most people focus on when they think of being “listed” on Yahoo or Google. Web search listings are the big, numbered results that show up when you do a web search at Yahoo. Over at Google, it’s the same, except Google doesn’t number them. Both search engines may find and list your pages naturally for free. If they miss, the add URL pages they offer might help — though don’t bank on it. Neither guarantee to list pages submitted through the systems.

Web Search Paid Inclusion: Did Yahoo fail to find a page you thought should be included in its index? Paid inclusion allows you to pay to ensure you get in. That doesn’t guarantee that you’ll necessarily rank well for a term. Effectively, it just lets you buy a ticket in the “search engine lottery,” if you missed getting one for free.

Search Submit Express is really for those with only a few pages. Search Submit Pro program is for those with hundreds of pages. See also Yahoo Announces Content Acquisition Program from SearchDay for more about the program and Going Beyond FTC Paid Inclusion Disclosure Guidelines also from SearchDay for some issues that the program raises (that story is the third of a series; see also parts one and two).

Google doesn’t offer a paid inclusion program. However, those purchasing advertising with the service may gain some better listing support. Google & SEO Support For Advertisers for Search Engine Watch members covers this more.

Search Ads: Also called paid placement listings, buying these guarantees that your ad will appear in the top search results for the terms you wish to bid upon, with some exceptions (editorial reasons; clickthrough rates can have an impact). Submitting Via Paid Listings: Overture & Google AdWords from Search Engine Watch has some general background on the programs.

Contextual Ads: Did you sign up for search-targeted ads with Yahoo and Google? Look again! You were also automatically signed up to have your ads placed contextually on pages. In other words, they will appear not because someone did a search but instead on pages that are deemed relevant to the ads. Didn’t want these non-search ads? You can opt-out at will. For more background on contextual ads, see the Contextual Ads category of Search Topics.

Shopping Listings: Both Yahoo and Google may find your shopping site and list it for free naturally. But Yahoo has a paid program that can guarantee inclusion and better placement. Google has a free Froogle Feed program to help you better provide shopping listings for its Froogle shopping search engine.

Travel Listings: Have travel offers and information? Yahoo has a new promotion program for its travel site. Google doesn’t have a travel site.

Directory Listings: The value of being listed in the human powered directories offered by Yahoo and Google has diminished over time, as they’ve buried these directories deeper and deeper into their sites (see Yahoo Directory Makes Changes & Further Directory Decline). But if you still care, Yahoo still offers a paid Directory Submit program in the US while getting in Google’s directory is free. Just submit to the free Open Directory and hope to be listed.

Local Search Ads: Want to be guaranteed to show up in the top results when someone does a local search? Both Yahoo and Google offer ways to do this; a special program from Yahoo, while Google lets you target your existing AdWords campaigns locally.

Local Listings: Both Yahoo and Google may find your local listings naturally and show you for free. However, Yahoo gives you the ability to pay to enhance your listing. Don’t want that? Free basic listings are also offered. Yahoo Bolsters Local Search Business Listings and Yahoo Offers Free Business Web Sites from SearchDay explains more. Over at Google, there’s no paid program. However, you can add listings if you aren’t shown or edit existing ones, all for free. Google Local Gains Tools For Businesses from the SEW Blog explains more.

News Listings: Both Yahoo and Google crawl the web to find news sites for their news search engines. Did they miss you? You can suggest your site for consideration, though it’s not guaranteed to be included. Still didn’t get included? Try a press release. Both Yahoo and Google carry press releases right alongside actual news articles. Positioning by Press Release in our Search Engine Watch Forums looks at this more.

Want to discuss the change from Overture to Yahoo? Visit our forum thread, Yahoo Search Marketing is Released. Also check out Yahoo To Buy Overture for background on Yahoo buying Overture back in 2003, GoTo Makes Overture To New Name for the last rebranding Overture went through, that of losing it original name of GoTo back in 2001 and GoTo Sells Positions, about GoTo’s launch in 1998.

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