Yahoo’s Overture services division announced this week it extended its deal to provide Microsoft’s Web portal, MSN, with sponsored search results through June 2006. Their previous agreement would have expired in June 2005, but the new term extends until June 2006. Overture will provide services to all of Microsoft’s ad operations in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.
For lawyers, this means still only having to buy sponsored links through Google AdWords, which gets you coverage at Google & AOL or through Yahoo’s Overture, which will get you coverage for Yahoo & MSN. I view these as the big four search engines, by far away.
Seems strange that MSN would have continued this relationship, which began in 2001, when MSN has invested so much time & money in their own search engine, now out in Beta form. Word has it though that MSN wants a few bucks soon to recoup some of its investment in its own search product and to do all it can to fight off Google’s dominance in the search and sponsored link space.
Bottom line, sponsored ads is a hot industry that is only going to get hotter. For lawyers pouring money down a rat hole for yellow page ads, directory listings, and ineffective Web sites, smart buying of sponsored links can be a heck of a deal.