In 2001 the search engine GoTo was renamed Overture. Overture was especially known as the first successful search engine with pay-for-placement service. Since 2000, Overture has delivered this service very successfully to other providers such as Alltheweb, AltaVista, Yahoo, MSN and other portals, search engines and websites. Overture used's search technology (the crawler), which was based on the World Wide Web Worm (WWWW) search engine purchased from In 2003 Overture bought Alta Vista and AllTheWeb, and in the same year Overture was bought by Yahoo. In 2007 Overture was closed.

Language English

Launched 2001
Closed 2007


Country of Origin US America

2001 - 2003 Overture Services, Inc.
2003 - 2007 Yahoo Inc

Topic Universal

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Paid search
Robot/Crawler based, algorithmic search
Pay Per Inclusion Search Engine
Pay-per-click (PPC) search engine

Used SeEn Overture

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): »Same As They Ever Were: ... Overture (1998- ): Formerly known as GoTo, the company launched a "paid placement" service in early 1998, where sites were ranked based in order of how much they were willing to pay. The web had matured enough by this point to accept this type of commercialization: similar plans tried by Open Text in 1996 were dropped after a chorus of complaints. By 2000, Overture abandoned its initial route of driving consumers to its own web site in favor of a network model of providing its paid listings to other sites. Today, it powers paid listings to major search engines such as MSN and Yahoo.« Source


»Overture changed its name from GoTo on October 8, 2001. "Overture is an introduction, and we feel that's what we do as a company," said GoTo's chief operating officer Jaynie Studenmund at the time. "We also felt it was a sophisticated enough name, in case our products expand," a telling hint of the acquisitions of AlltheWeb and AltaVista in 2003.

GoTo had even earlier origins. Its initial search engine was the World Wide Web Worm, one of the very first web search engines created by University of Colorado professor Oliver McBryan. McBryan sold the technology to Idealab, then parent of in December 1999.« Source

Critical points

Features & Functionality


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN):!_Search_Marketing
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Overture. Online available at SEO Logic. URL:
Sullivan, Danny (Mar 3, 2003): Where Are They Now? Search Engines We've Known & Loved URL:
Metamend: Overture PPC Search Engine Internet Marketing URL:
Loren Baker (2005): Yahoo Search Marketing Launched, Farewell Overture URL:
Danny Sullivan (2003): Yahoo To Buy Overture URL:
Aaron Wall: Overture URL:
Goodbye GoTo, hello Overture - 2001 URL:
Jay Hoffmann: GoTo: The Forgotten Search Engine URL:

Created: 2013-01-16