issues email to advertisers
in this email is a notice relating to a settlement of a
class action involving
LookSmart, Ltd. Please read the email carefully and completely.
If you are a member of
the Class, it contains important information about your rights
under the settlement.
Please do not reply to this email as replies will not be
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
) Case No. 02-407778
IN RE LOOKSMART LITIGATION )
) Honorable Ronald Evans Quidachay
NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
AND SETTLEMENT HEARING ("NOTICE") AND CLAIM FORM
TO: ALL CUSTOMERS OF LOOKSMART, LTD. WHO INITIATED A LISTING
BETWEEN MAY 13, 1998 AND APRIL 9, 2002:
THIS NOTICE MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY!
1. WHY SHOULD I READ THIS NOTICE?
This Notice has been e-mailed to you because the records
of Defendant LookSmart show
that you are either a current or former customer of LookSmart,
Ltd. ("LookSmart"), who initiated
a listing with LookSmart in the period May 1998 to April
2002. You may be eligible to receive
consideration from a proposed Settlement of a class action
filed against LookSmart.
2. WHAT ARE THESE LAWSUITS ABOUT?
LookSmart is in the business of providing online marketing
services for persons and
businesses who desire Internet users to visit their web
sites. LookSmart offers online businesses
the ability to list descriptions of their products and
services in LookSmart's searchable directory.
It also distributes its directory database to leading Internet
portals and search engines, such as
MSN. Internet users utilizing LookSmart or other portals
incorporating its directory database are
able to find the web sites of LookSmart customers by using
targeted keyword searches. They
then typically "click" on the link provided by
the search engine to visit the proffered web site.
This litigation comprises the cases of Legal Staffing Partners,
Inc. v. LookSmart, Ltd.,
San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 02-407778, filed
May 9, 2002, and Kramer v.
LookSmart, Ltd., et al., San Francisco Superior Court,
Case No. 02-410034, filed July 9, 2002,
and consolidated by Pretrial Order No. 1. The operative
complaint in this consolidated action is
the Consolidated Amended Complaint ("Complaint"),
filed on October 23, 2002.
The Complaint was filed by Plaintiffs on behalf of themselves
and all persons and entities
who Plaintiffs allege made a "one-time payment" to
LookSmart for listing services between May
13, 1998 to April 9, 2002 (the "Class Period"),
and whose account was unilaterally changed by
LookSmart to another type of service that requires additional
Plaintiffs allege that during the Class Period, LookSmart
represented that for a "one-time
payment" it would list customers' web sites in the
database indefinitely, and that LookSmart
breached the agreement when, in April 2002, it required
customers to begin to "pay-per-click"
pursuant to a new program. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs
assert claims for breach of contract,
breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing,
and violations of the Business &
Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq., and 17500,
Beginning in July 2002, LookSmart began extending to Class
Members 100 free clicks
per month, and committed to providing the 100 free clicks
per month through December 11,
2003. LookSmart acknowledges that this litigation served
as a catalyst in its decision to provide
the free clicks to Class Members, and, in addition to the
consideration described below and as
part of the consideration for the Settlement Class, LookSmart
already is providing 100 free clicks
per month to current customers through December 11, 2003.
3. WHO IS IN THE CLASS AND COVERED BY THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?
You are a member of the Settlement Class, and therefore
are covered by the Settlement,
if, between May 13, 1998 and April 9, 2002, you paid LookSmart
a fee for review by LookSmart
of your listing for potential inclusion in the LookSmart
directory database, your listing was
subsequently included in LookSmart's directory database
and was listed in the database as of
April 9, 2002. Excluded from the Class are any customers
who were terminated by LookSmart
from the directory under LookSmart's editorial discretion
during the Class Period.
4. WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?
A. All Class Members whose listings were added to the LookSmart
database between May 13, 1998 and April 9, 2002, and whose
listing continued to
be included in the database as of September 5, 2003, are
Current Customers." All Eligible Current Customers
will continue to
automatically receive 100 free "clicks" per month
through December 11, 2003,
or whenever their listings terminate, whichever is earlier.
There is no need to
submit a claim to receive these free clicks.
B. All Eligible Current Customers whose listings were added
to the LookSmart
directory database between October 9, 2001 and April 9,
2002 ("Period One")
shall automatically receive 75 free "clicks" per
listing per month beginning
December 12, 2003 and ending June 12, 2004, unless their
listing is terminated
prior to June 12, 2004. The 75 free clicks are exclusive
of the 100 free clicks
described in section 4.A. and there is no need to submit
a claim to receive these
C. All Eligible Current Customers whose listings were added
to the LookSmart
directory database between April 9, 2001 and October 8,
2001 ("Period Two")
shall automatically receive 50 free "clicks" per
listing per month beginning
December 12, 2003 and ending June 12, 2004, unless their
listing is terminated
prior to June 12, 2004. The 50 free clicks are exclusive
of the 100 free clicks
described in section 4.A. and there is no need to submit
a claim to receive these
D. All Eligible Current Customers whose listings were added
to the LookSmart
directory database between May 13, 1998 and April 8, 2001
("Period Three") will
receive only the free clicks set forth in Section 4.A.
E. None of the free clicks outlined above are transferable.
Unused free clicks will
not carry over from month to month. If an Eligible Current
terminated a listing prior to the Effective Date of the
Settlement, or terminates a
listing prior to June 12, 2004, LookSmart assumes no obligation
to pay such
customer the value of unused free clicks, if any, as of
the date the listing is
terminated. None of the free clicks offered in Sections
2.1 through 2.3 constitute a
guarantee by LookSmart of traffic generation for eligible
sufficient to utilize the free clicks, and LookSmart assumes
no obligation to
generate such traffic.
F. Eligible Former Customers (as defined below) who submit
Claim Form http://aboutus.looksmart.com/about.jhtml?dir=profile&page=claimform
(click on the Claim Form hyperlink to access the Claim
Form) will receive an
individual cash payment of up to $50.00. The maximum amount
available in the
aggregate to Eligible Former Customers who submit a timely
claim form is
$250,000. If the total amount of claims by Eligible Former
$250,000, each individual Former Customer's recovery amount
will be reduced
An "Eligible Former Customer" is defined as a
Class Member: (1) whose listings
were added to the LookSmart directory database between
May 13, 1998 and
April 9, 2002, (2) whose listing was included in LookSmart's
on April 9, 2002, and whose listings were, after April
9, 2002 but before
September 5, 2003, cancelled by specific choice of the
Class Member by use of
the cancel listing feature of the Advertiser Center or
through contact with
LookSmart's customer service; (3) whose listings were not
cancelled because of a
violation of LookSmart's policies, editorial guidelines,
or due to any violation of
LookSmart's terms and conditions (except as disputed in
this litigation); (4) who,
as of the Effective Date of the Settlement, is the rightful
owner of the URL
associated with the listing; and (5) whose listing, as
of the date the Court approves
the settlement, is not part of the LookSmart directory.
5. HOW WILL THE SETTLEMENT FUND BE DISTRIBUTED?
LookSmart shall, at its expense, administer the claims
of Class Members, provide the free
clicks described herein, and pay cash refunds to claimants
as set forth herein. Class Counsel will
regularly audit the claims administration process.
6. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?
Eligible Current Customers: If you are a Class Member who
Eligible Current Customer as defined in Section 4(A) above,
need do nothing in order to participate in the Settlement.
If you do
not timely exclude yourself from the Settlement pursuant
Section 13 below, you will be bound by the Settlement and
will be deemed to have released LookSmart and each of the
Released Persons" (as defined in the Stipulation of
Settlement) from all of the Released Claims (as defined
Eligible Former Customers: If you are a Class Member who
Eligible Former Customer as defined in Section 4(F) above,
will receive a cash refund of up to $50.00 only if you
submit a Claim Form http://aboutus.looksmart.com/about.jhtml?dir=profile&page=claimform
(click on Claim Form hyperlink to access the
Claim Form) no later than November 14, 2003. Also, if you do not
timely exclude yourself from the Settlement pursuant to Section 13
below, you will be bound by the Settlement and you will be
deemed to have released LookSmart and each of the "Released
Persons" (as defined in the Stipulation of Settlement) from all
of the Released Claims (as defined in the Stipulation).
7. WHO REPRESENTS THE CLASS?
To act on behalf of the Class for purposes of the proposed settlement, the
appointed Legal Staffing Partners and Curt Kramer as Class Representatives
and the following
attorneys and law firms as Class Counsel: Andrew N. Friedman of the Washington,
DC law firm
of Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C., and Eric H. Gibbs of the
San Francisco law firm
of Girard, Gibbs & De Bartolomeo LLP.
8. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR THE SETTLEMENT?
The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe that the claims asserted
litigation have merit. However, Class Counsel recognize and acknowledge the
length of continued proceedings necessary to prosecute the litigation against
through trial and through appeals. Class Counsel have taken into account the
and the risk of any litigation, especially in complex actions such as this
litigation, as well as the
difficulties and delays inherent in such litigation. Class Counsel are mindful
of the inherent
problems of proof under and possible defenses to the violations of law asserted
in the litigation,
and have also taken into account the difficulties inherent in certifying the
putative Class. Class
Counsel are also aware of the difficulties they will likely face in recovering
any monetary relief
for the Class even if they prevail on their claims. After considering these
and other factors, Class
Counsel have concluded that the proposed Settlement is fair and equitable to
all Settlement Class
members, and will confer substantial benefits upon the Settlement Class. Based
evaluation, Class Counsel have determined that the Settlement is fair, reasonable
9. HOW WILL CLASS COUNSELS' FEES AND EXPENSES BE PAID?
The parties agree that LookSmart shall pay Class Counsel the sum of $600,000
attorneys' fees, costs and expenses, for legal work and costs and expenses
related to the
litigation. The parties agree that these amounts are reasonable, based on the
work performed and
costs incurred, and should be approved by the Court.
10. ARE ANY LOOKSMART CUSTOMERS RECEIVING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION?
No. The Class Representatives are not being paid separately for their efforts
in filing and
prosecuting this matter.
11. WHAT CLAIMS WILL BE RELEASED IF THE SETTLEMENT IS APPROVED BY
If approved by the Court, the proposed Settlement will be legally binding upon
Members. The proposed Settlement will release and discharge LookSmart from
all known and
unknown claims for damages and other relief in connection with claims made
in this litigation.
12. WHAT IF THE SETTLEMENT IS NOT APPROVED BY THE COURT?
If the proposed Settlement is not approved by the Court as being fair, reasonable,
adequate, the Settlement Agreement will be null and void and Plaintiffs will
proceed with their
lawsuits. The Plaintiffs and Defendant could also attempt to enter into another
13. CAN I EXCLUDE MYSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT?
Yes. If you exclude yourself you will not receive any benefits of the Settlement
will not be bound by the Final Order and Judgment which may be entered dismissing
lawsuits against the Defendant. You will be free to pursue whatever legal rights
you may have
by pursuing your own lawsuit against the Defendant at your own risk and expense.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must send a Request for
first-class mail, postage prepaid, to Eric H. Gibbs, GIRARD GIBBS & DE
BARTOLOMEO LLP, 601
California Street, Suite 1400, San Francisco, CA 94108; Andrew N. Friedman,
MILSTEIN, HAUSFELD & TOLL, P.L.L.C., 1100 New York Ave. NW., West Tower,
Washington, DC 20005; and Jonathan C. Dickey, GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER,
LLP, 1530 Page
Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304. Your Request for Exclusion must be in writing
postmarked by October 10, 2003.
To be effective, a Request for Exclusion must include: (a) the name of this
litigation as it
appears on the caption of this Notice; and (b) your name, address, email address,
If the Request for Exclusion is not timely submitted, you will be included
in the Class and you may be eligible to receive benefits from the proposed
Settlement. You also
will be legally bound by the proposed Settlement, including provisions releasing
as more fully described in the Settlement Agreement.
14. WHY, WHEN, AND WHERE WILL A HEARING BE HELD?
A hearing will be held before the Honorable Ronald Evans Quidachay of the San
Francisco County Superior Court, Department 603, 400 McAllister Street, San
California, on October 31, 2003, 2003 at 9:30 a.m. (the "Fairness Hearing").
There is no need
for you to attend the Fairness Hearing if you simply wish to participate in
Settlement. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing shall be to determine, among
other things: (a)
whether the terms and conditions of the proposed settlement are fair, reasonable
(b) whether Class Counsel's application for an award of attorneys' fees and
expenses should be
approved, and (c) whether the Final Order and Judgment should be entered dismissing
with prejudice and on the merits against the Plaintiffs and all Class Members
(except for those
persons who timely and properly request to be excluded from the settlement).
The Court has the power to adjourn or reschedule the Fairness Hearing from
time to time
without further notice of any kind.
Any Class Member who has not filed a timely written request for exclusion and
wishes to object to the proposed Settlement must file a statement of his/her
objection, as well as
a specific statement in support of each objection with the Court no later than
October 10, 2003,
and serve same on Class Counsel (See below) and Defendant's Counsel (See below)
no later than October 10, 2003.
Any Class Member or his/her attorney intending to make an appearance at the
Hearing must (i) file a notice of appearance with the Clerk of Court no later
than October 10,
2003, and (ii) serve same on Class Counsel and Defendant's Counsel postmarked
no later than
October 10, 2003.
All such objections, papers and briefs shall expressly refer to the name of
this litigation as
it appears on the caption of this Notice, as well as the judge and case number.
objections must clearly identify the name, address, email address, and telephone
number of the
Class Member making the objection and shall provide documentation demonstrating
person making the objection is in fact a Class Member. All written objections
also must clearly
identify any and all witnesses, documents and other evidence of any kind that
are to be presented
at the Fairness Hearing in connection with such objections and shall further
set forth the
substance of any testimony to be given by such witnesses, if any. The pertinent
addresses are as
(i) Class Counsel:
Andrew N. Friedman
COHEN, MILSTEIN, HAUSFELD
& TOLL, P.L.L.C.
1100 New York Ave. NW.
West Tower, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Eric H. Gibbs
GIRARD GIBBS & DE BARTOLOMEO LLP
601 California Street, Suite 1400
San Francisco, CA 94108
(ii) Defendant's Counsel:
Jonathan C. Dickey
GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER, LLP
1530 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Any Class Member who does not comply with these requirements shall be deemed
have waived such objection and shall be forever foreclosed from making any
objection to the
15. WHERE DO I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT?
This Notice is only a summary of the proposed Settlement and does not describe
all of the
details of the Settlement Agreement and other papers filed in these lawsuits.
Members may review the Stipulation of Settlement and the other documents filed
with the Court
in this action, all of which are available for inspection at the office of
the Clerk of the San
Francisco County Superior Court, 400 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California,
may contact Class Counsel at the addresses listed above, or by sending an email
to the following
web site: LookSmartSettlement@girardgibbs.com.
16. WHAT ARE THE RELEVANT DATES?
If you simply wish to participate in the proposed Settlement, you do not need
anything now. If you wish to request exclusion from the Class or appear at
the Fairness Hearing,
these are the relevant dates:
· Deadline for mailing request for exclusion: October 10, 2003
· Deadline for filing Notice of Appearance or Objection: October 10, 2003
· Deadline for Former Customers to submit Claim Form: November 14, 2003
· Date of Fairness Hearing: October 31, 2003 at 9:30 a.m.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK'S OFFICE OR
DEFENDANT FOR INFORMATION
The Notice provides only a summary of matters about these lawsuits. You may
advice and guidance of your own private attorney, at your own expense, if you
wish. You may
also contact Class Counsel at the address listed in Section 14, above.
BY ORDER OF THE COURT
The Honorable Ronald Evans Quidachay
Judge of the San Francisco County Superior Court
State of California
Dated: September 5, 2003
This administrative email was sent to this address based on the information
in your LookSmart account. If you would like to review the email address to
which administrative communications are sent, log in to your LookSmart account
and update your personal information.
Copyright © 2003 LookSmart, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
proposed class action lawsuit claiming breach of contract,
fraudulent business practices and misleading advertising has
been filed against LookSmart over a recent change in how the
company sells some of its commercial web site listings.
offered one thing to a lot of small businesses and signed
a contract and unilaterally changed the program," said
the lead attorney behind the case, Jeffrey L. Fazio, of Hancock
Rothert & Bunshoft.
LookSmart moved thousands of companies that previously had
paid a one-time submission fee into a new cost-per-click listing
program. Companies who refuse to pay the new, continuing fees
risk being delisted when free credit given to them by LookSmart
in association with the switchover runs out.
has caused outrage among some LookSmart customers who feel
the company is unfairly demanding additional money from them.
Legal Staffing Partners, a North Carolina company that does
business as "Juris Resources," is one of those customers
and the initial plaintiff in the proposed class action suit
filed on May 9. If approved by the court, other parties will
be able to join the case.
Staffing Partners paid LookSmart $199 on or about June 12,
2001 to be listed within the directory, according to the complaint.
It was then shifted unilaterally by LookSmart into the new
cost-per-click program on April 12 of this year and delisted
on April 15, when the $15 in free monthly credit it had been
given by LookSmart was exhausted.
to the terms of its agreement with customers, which states
that no additional payments will ever be required, LookSmart
is halting all internet traffic used in its search listings
to those customers who made the 'one-time payment' for its
services," the suit says, summarizing the contention
of breach of contract.
cites statements from a past LookSmart FAQ page about its
one-time submission fee programs as evidence LookSmart promised
customers that no further submission fees would be charged.
your one-time payment, your site will be listed in the LookSmart
network indefinitely. Once you submit, there is no need for
additional payments and no need to submit your site to any
of LookSmarts partners or affiliates," said the
LookSmart FAQ page on December 17, 2000, according to the
suit. It further cites, "For your one-time payment, your
website will remain in our directory as long as it complies
with our submission guidelines."
to the suit, LookSmart had asserted to Search Engine Watch
its belief to be on firm legal ground in moving "one-time
fee" customers into the new cost-per-click program because
the terms of the old programs granted LookSmart the sole right
to change any part of the agreement at any time.
a lawsuit has been filed, LookSmart said it couldn't comment
on specifics but did say it believes it will win in any action.
believe suit is incredibly baseless. Were going to defend
it vigorously," said Robert Goldberg, LookSmart's senior
vice president of sales and marketing. "We feel we are
in a very strong legal position."
was filed in the Superior Court of California, San Francisco
County, where LookSmart's US operation is based. The court
will now evaluate the merits of the proposed case and determine
if it can go forward as a class action.
approving the case to proceed, a determination that there
are a lot of plaintiffs and that it makes sense to proceed
with this one case rather than many and if the complaints
are similar and can be tried at one time," said Fazio.
could this end up costing LookSmart, if it lost the case?
The suit doesn't name an actual figure but asks for restitution
of all money received by LookSmart through its one-time fee
programs, interest, damages and attorney fees.
figure on just the money received? Assume 90,000 customers
at $199 each and you get about $18 million. The actual amount
could be higher or lower, because LookSmart has had different
price points throughout the history of its programs.
buys Scoot for £5m
Thursday June 27, 2002
Scoot.com, the online directories business worth £2.5bn
at the height of the internet boom, has been snapped up by
BT Group for just £5m.
company was due to run out of money at the end of the month,
but the telecoms giant has stepped in to prevent it from going
the same way as boo.com.
A BT Group
spokesman said Scoot was a good business with potential for
growth, despite its spectacular fall from grace.
the whole sector companies have seen their values decreased
quite alarmingly. We think this is still potentially a good
business, available at a good price. When we lock it into
our directories business, we think it will do very well,"
generates revenues of around £30m a year by channelling
customers to goods and services through its online and voice
directory service, but its share price collapsed as investors
realised profits would be a long time coming. It posted a
loss of £180m for 2001.
bought Loot, the classified advertising publisher, for £189m
in June 2000 and the purchase unbalanced Scoot's books.
sold to the Daily Mail and General Trust in a £45m deal
in September last year, securing Scoot some much needed breathing
this month, it emerged that five former executive directors
of Scoot received salary and bonuses for 2001 worth almost
half the company's entire market value.
shares were trading at 0.6p this afternoon, against an all-time
high of over 330p.
engine upstart Teoma has officially launched, and the media
is once again touting it as a Google killer. Here's a look
behind the hype, and the real reasons you'll want to add Teoma
to your web search toolkit.
Teoma a Google killer makes for a great headline, but is really
rather silly. Teoma is a very good search engine, but at this
point it poses very little threat to Google's dominance of
the web search world.
save the face off comparison for later, after Teoma has had
a chance to prove itself. Meanwhile, let's look at some of
the nifty things that makes Teoma unique, and an excellent
choice for many types of search queries.
offers three kinds of results for each query. On the left
of the result page are "relevant web pages" that
are similar to what other engines produce. On the right are
two other kinds of results: "Refine," a list of
"suggestions to narrow your search," and "Resources,"
which are "link collections from experts and enthusiasts."
of results is useful, for different reasons. And all three
types of results are generated using proprietary technology
that makes them somewhat unique compared to other engines.
underlying technology is an extension of the HITS algorithm
developed by researchers at IBM several years ago. In a nutshell,
the search engine goes beyond traditional keyword and text
analysis and seeks out "hubs" and "authorities"
related to your query terms -- a "social network"
of related content that forms a "community" about
thing about Teoma is that its community-seeking behavior is
both query-specific, and happens in real time. "Whenever
you type in a query, we're actually looking for the communities
after you type the query," said Paul Gardi, Teoma's Vice
President of Search. "We're using a method called dynamic
rank, because there's a lot of information you can learn about
that page by its friends."
approach differs from Google's, which uses a similar, but
more static ranking system. It's also unlike the approach
taken by Northern Light and other engines that classify web
pages based on pre-defined categories.
going into the communities, finding the link structure of
the community using text structure as well," said Gardi.
this mean in practice? How can this approach improve your
of all, by relying on the "authorities" within a
community, Teoma "relevant web pages" are generally
quite useful, even for obscure topics. Second, "Resources"
are often link-rich pages -- pathfinders or directories --
that are excellent starting points for further research on
a particular topic.
the "refine" results that are perhaps Teoma's most
unique feature. These links are automatically generated labels
that "define" a community for the query words you're
if your initial query doesn't provide spot-on results, the
"refine" links allow you to "drill down"
into a community, potentially revealing information you can't
easily find with traditional approaches to information processing.
extremely valuable for the user to have something to refine.
It's a very different kind of refine because it's actually
pulling you down through the actual communities that exist,"
said Teoma's Gardi. "Communities are getting stronger
or weaker based on how the web is growing."
approach to surfacing content means that Teoma can discover
beginnings of a new community even for new or obscure pages.
This makes it an excellent companion or alternative to other
search engines, including Google, that tend to rely on lots
of links pointing to pages to infer authority.
is not a wholesale replacement for Google, nor is it an engine
you'll want to use exclusively. Teoma's index of 200 million
pages is tiny compared to most of the other major search engines.
And the company doesn't intend to compete on size, but rather
on providing "authoritative" results. "We're
adding a little bit every day -- we're about halfway to getting
to where we need to be," said Gardi.
of Teoma as a new type of hybrid between a search engine and
a directory, incorporating the best features of both. Like
most search engines, Teoma's scope is large enough to satisfy
even the most obscure information need, but without overwhelming
you with millions of near-matches or false drops. And like
a good directory, Teoma structures information in a way that
facilitates browsing based on context and meaning.
line: Teoma isn't a Google killer now, and likely never will
be, but it's still an excellent search engine for many types
of queries. Definitely worth adding to your web search toolkit.
to Integrate Overture As Its Pay-For-Performance Search Provider
Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO - news), a global Internet communications,
commerce and media company, today announced the launch of
Yahoo! Sponsor Matches, an enhanced placement program to give
Web sites increased visibility in Yahoo!'s search results.
Yahoo! will introduce the program through an alliance with
Overture Services Inc. (Nasdaq: OVER), formerly GoTo, the
leading provider of Pay-For-Performance search to Web sites
across the Internet. Overture will distribute its search listings
product on Yahoo! search results pages until at least April
2002, at which time Yahoo! will either offer its own Sponsor
Matches program independently or explore extending its agreement
The launch of Sponsor Matches builds on one of Yahoo!'s core
strengths as a leading search and directory service. Businesses
will be able to reach their targeted consumers more effectively
through enhanced placement in search results on keywords that
are relevant to their business. Under the agreement, Yahoo!'s
search results pages will feature Overture's top five Pay-For-Performance
search listings submitted by its growing base of 49,000 advertisers.
In order to differentiate between paid and editorial placements
within Yahoo!'s search results, enhanced placement listings
will be distinguished in clearly demarcated sections. The
program will begin on November 15, 2001.
Sponsor Matches is consistent with our strategy to leverage
our core strengths in order to build growing and diverse revenues,"
said Terry Semel, chairman and chief executive officer, Yahoo!
Inc. "Millions of Internet searches conducted on Yahoo!
each day are commercial in nature, giving businesses tremendous
opportunity to market their products and services through
enhanced placement in our search results.
alliance with Overture gives Yahoo! an immediate opportunity
to create the Sponsor Matches program. Businesses will benefit
from the traction and visibility of Yahoo!'s search and the
high quality results and proven cost effective model of Overture,"
category we've built has come a long way in the past few years.
We are excited that Yahoo! has chosen to add Pay-For-Performance
listings to its world-class search offering," said Ted
Meisel, president and chief executive officer, Overture. "We
are pleased to enter this mutually beneficial alliance and
look forward to the possibility of extending our agreement
of an enhanced placement search program complements Yahoo!'s
existing successful directory services, Sponsored Sites and
Yahoo! Express. Sponsored Sites is a fee-based service that
enables commercial Web sites already listed in the Yahoo!
directory to receive enhanced placement in specific commercial
categories of the directory. Through Yahoo! Express businesses
can pay to expedite the review of their submission for inclusion
in the Yahoo! directory.
benefit of Yahoo!'s search and directory is that its human-built
directory places a user's search in context. Yahoo! experts
appropriately categorize Web sites into an intuitive organizational
structure, effectively connecting consumers with the demographic,
geographical or subject-based content, services and businesses