Overture heads toward automation

The commercial search arm of Yahoo plans to automate a portion of its ad-bidding system in the next month.

Stefanie Olsen Staff writer, CNET News
Stefanie Olsen covers technology and science.
Stefanie Olsen

Overture Services, the commercial search arm of Yahoo, plans to automate a portion of its ad-bidding system in the next month, an executive said Wednesday. Michael Harris, Overture's senior vice president of global product management, said the company will combine and automate two services for advertisers that it introduced last year--broad matching and phrase matching--which let marketers target keyword-related ads to a broader set of search queries across the Web. The resulting service is designed to take less effort and deliver more relevant clicks for advertisers, Harris said. Overture will distribute the service, called advanced match type, to Yahoo and Microsoft, both which had previously opted out of carrying Overture's specialty ads.

The change reflects the growing similarity between Overture and Google, its closest rival. Google, the No. 1 search provider, has long been known to its focus on technology when it comes to Web search and advertising. Overture, by contrast, has given advertisers more control of the results.