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Overture tool broadens ad analysis

Software lets advertisers automate keyword bidding based on response metrics and figure out which campaigns are underperforming.

Paid-search giant Overture Services has begun offering a tool designed to reduce the time companies spend managing their online ad campaigns.

The Search Optimizer builds on the metrics created through Market Console, an Overture tool used to track the performance of online ad campaigns through parameters such as cost per acquisition, cost per click and return on ad dollars.

The new software lets advertisers automate keyword bidding based on response metrics and find out which keywords or campaigns are underperforming, Overture said Tuesday. Marketers can also create watch lists of keywords and run campaigns during specific times of day.

Online marketing campaigns mainly include paid search, online ad banners, and e-mail promotions delivered by third parties.

Paid search, a realm where Yahoo-owned Overture battles it out with Google for supremacy, has witnessed explosive growth in 2002 and 2003. Riding on the performance of the commercial search business, Yahoo posted a $112.5 million profit in the second quarter. However, the growth trajectory has started leveling out lately.

The technology behind Search Optimizer came largely through Web analytics company Keylime Software, which Overture acquired last year.

The subscription-based tool can be purchased through Overture Performance Marketing and will soon be available via search-engine marketing partners. The monthly costs vary from $249 to $1,599, depending on the number of leads tracked.