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Overture fine tunes local wheels

The commercial search arm of Yahoo expands services for local advertisers in a bid to capture greater share of regional marketing dollars.

Overture Services, the commercial search arm of Yahoo, will announce Monday expanded services for local advertisers, in a bid to capture greater share of regional marketing dollars. The Pasadena, Calif.-based company auctions search-related keywords to advertisers, and the highest bidder appears atop search results at Yahoo and other distribution partner Web sites.

Overture will now let local businesses designate a region where they'd like their ads to appear, covering an area between a half-mile and 100 miles. It will also let companies without a home page participate, in a first. With the local business' signup data, including address, it will create a Yahoo-sponsored locator page with driving directions and other information to direct Web surfers offline. Yahoo, ESPN, MSN, and Infospace will be among the first companies to begin displaying the locally targeted ads in search results.