Advice: How to register with Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions and not overspend!

Note: As of November 2010, we found the advice on this page was woefully outdated. We leave it here as interesting background info, but you'll find that Overture no longer exists, Yahoo search results are being provided by Bing now, and there's some debate as to whether Yahoo paid search results will be continuing.

Overture has been owned by Yahoo Search Marketing for some years now. This page contains advice on how to get your site registered in Yahoo! Search Marketing (previously Overture) and not overspend.

Yahoo Search Marketing
Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions
Open a Bidding Account

Different ways to pay to get into Yahoo!

Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions currently offers:

All of which are described by Yahoo on their Yahoo Advertising page.

Yahoo! Search marketing - Search Submit

Here's where you go to sign up for Yahoo Advertising - that link takes you to the signup page which takes your info and sends it to them -- they have to contact you back to actually sign you up. Here's their promo video on why you should advertise on Yahoo.

Be sure to submit your site through the free submit form at Yahoo. Also submit to the Yahoo! Directory, and see if that gets you into the results. It should.

Yahoo! Marketing Solutions - Pay Per Clickthrough

(previously called Overture Pay-For-Performance or Overture Precision Match - then Sponsored Search and Yahoo! Search Marketing)

This is the Y! Search Marketing Pay-per-click service that is often referred to still as just plain "Overture". If you want to display ads alongside of search listings, this is the place to go.

Yahoo! Search Marketing's Advertiser Workbook, their comprehensive, downloadable guide that, as they once put it, "... covers practically everything you need to know to get the most out of your Overture account."

A paid listing at Yahoo! Search Marketing Sponsored Search can be worth a lot more than the trouble and expense of registering. Sign up with a minimum deposit of $50.00 and bid on the keywords you want--they will deduct the amount of your bid (which can be as little as fifteen cents) from that $50.00 deposit every time someone clicks through to your site from Overture. You can bid more.

Here is a book about Mastering Yahoo! Panama Search Marketing from Page Zero Media. You'll have to pay for it. We'd like your opinions on this book, so feel free to contact us to let us know.

Overture is often more expensive than Google, but because you have so much more room for text in your ads, you can include sales and exclusionary copy - so the clicks are often found to be worth the added expense.

Here is Yahoo's pricing information page.

There are many websites that make money only because of their listings at Overture. A few years ago it was the only place online where one could BUY top billing on a search engine, although now one can do this in many other pay-per-click search engines such as MIVA and Google AdWords. Overture will charge you a minimum of $20 per month, even if only one person clicks through to your site.

A word of advice here--if the top bid for your keyword is fairly expensive (more than, say, $1.00 per clickthrough), then don't go for the top bid position--just bid enough to stay on the first page of results for that keyword. Unless, that is, you can afford to pay top dollar for every clickthrough to your site. If you are selling a high-ticket item with a lot of profit--then bid yourself to the top of the heap. We manage the Google AdWords accounts for several clients, and some of the keywords go for as much as $20.00 per clickthrough for top placement.

Note: The top three paid listings at are called "premium listings" and will show up at many other search engines (such as AltaVista, AOL Search, Direct Hit, HotBot, Lycos, NBCi, iWon,, Netscape Search, and other metacrawlers such as DogPile and through partnering arrangements has made. When someone sees your listing at one of those other search engines and clicks on the link -- you get charged by Overture. They split the fee they charge you (your bid on the keyword). So it can be very worthwhile to bid enough to stay in those top three spots on Overture because you get 'way more exposure that way.

The minimum bid at Yahoo! Search Marketing is $.10 (ten cents) per clickthrough on any key word. If you already have an account and have bid less than $.10 per clickthrough they will honor current bid amounts of less than $.10 for all listings that were in place before February, 2003. Don't CHANGE any of your current listings if you want them to stay at less than $.10 per clickthrough, because any change will require a bid of $.10 or more.

They no longer require a minimum spend of $20.00 per month, so have become more affordable for the smaller advertisers out there.

There used to be a great tool at Overture useful for figuring out what your keywords should be: the Search Suggestion Tool. It's not been working for some time. You could fill in what you think might be the right keyword search phrase for your site, click "submit" and you'll see which related search terms were the most popular ones actually searched for at during the last month. This is helpful in generating more traffic from Overture. As Mark Twain once said, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." The same applies to key words and search phrases on search engines.

Yahoo! Local Sponsored Search

This is a pay-per-click service that has been running via Overture, and is basically a scaled down version of the regular PPC campaign. It is now available here: 

This is useful only to sites that are marketing themselves to their local market. If you want to reach only your neighbours, use local search. If you want to reach a national or global audience, don't use local search.

Yahoo! Product Submit

If you sell things via an online shopping cart on your site, you may want to consider this service ( ) from Yahoo. It's how to get your product listed in Yahoo! Shopping. It is not free.

If you'd like to try free product marketing first to see if it works for you, Google offers a free product marketing called Froogle. Find out about Google's Froogle Merchant Services here.

If you're interested in paid shopping search placement, we have advice on shopping search engines.

Overture's old features and services - Which are available?

History of Yahoo! Search Marketing: A few years ago, Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions was called Overture. It was not owned by Yahoo! and it was the largest pay-per-click provider. Overture provided Yahoo! (along with AltaVista, HotBot, and lots of others) with sponsored listings. They also provided paid placement in AltaVista. In March 2004, Overture added inclusion into Yahoo Search Results to its paid services. Then Yahoo! bought them and Overture became a sub-company of Yahoo!. In March 2005, they officially rebranded.

 first became 
Overture - A Yahoo company

 then became 

Yahoo Search Marketing

There has been little change to their suite of services, their structure, or their effectiveness as a marketing tool since rebranding. Just a whole lot of name changes:

Services no longer offered include the AltaVista Express Inclusion subscriptions. These all expired by September of 2004, and were not renewable. All Altavista Express Inclusion members were redirected to sign up for Overture Site Match after March of 2004. If you want to be listed in Altavista, you need to get yourself into the Yahoo Search listings.

Additionally, Infospider used to have their own service for inclusion, that now has been replaced by Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions. You can find out more about that here or call them at 408-635-2289 to find out what happened to your paid InfoSpider placement.

Last updated 2021-04-16.

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