Overture joins Scumware company Gator
The Overture pay-per-click text ad company has signed an agreement with "scumware" deliverer Gator. Kalena Jordan of High Search Engine Ranking and other search engine optimization providers are mighty upset about Overture's move.
Gator's SearchScout program will deliver eight to ten Overture pay-per-click text ads in a pop-under window when a Gator user does a search on a selected keyword or phrase associated with those listings. Yes, the new windows will pop up even if you do a search at Google. This function follows when you download other types of software from Gator, which from an ethical viewpoint is questionable.
The main problem for search engine marketers, however, is that regular Overture pay-per-click ads may pop up in this fashion. Companies buy Overture ads to be included in MSN, Yahoo! and other serious search sites and portals, not to be associated with Gator and irritating pop-ups. In Kalena's words: "That's right - now thousands of blissfully ignorant Overture advertisers will have their ads appear in annoying pop-ups and pop-unders, courtesy of Gator's obnoxious Search Scout software - software that preys on unsuspecting Internet surfers by installing itself onto their computers, usually without their knowledge."
How does Overture feel about this? "This is a great opportunity to get more clicks to more advertisers," says Paul Schulz , Overture's senior vice president of marketing according to News.com. "Gator's been innovative in understanding a terrific opportunity in search--they are a strong player in the adware market, and it's an attractive channel for search." In a reply to Kalena Jordan, Overture says that before the company entered into this agreement, they "carefully evaluated Gator's practices and determined that its strict operating guidelines around permission, disclosure and attribution provide a high-quality user experience."
In spite of this many Gator users tell Pandia that they were not asked whether they wanted to install search generated pop-ups when downloading Gator software. And no, we are not going to try! It seems that Overture has become to obsessed with the number of profitable click-throughs (after all, they are paid per click-through), instead of the credibility of the advertising venue.
It does matter where your ad appears. If you are promoting a feminist manifesto, you will probably not like to see your ad in Playboy. As long as the advertisers cannot choose not to get their ads distributed by Gator, many of them will have to abandon Overture. Overture is not the only pay-per-click company associated with such software. FindWhat apparently delivers ads to the WhenU desktop software.
Google, on the other hand has ended their syndication relationship with a similar company called Xupiter, which means that they become the natural alternative for especially American advertisers.