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Monday, May 05, 2003

Overture Updates Account Interface

In case you haven't peeked in on your Overture ads lately, you'll see some changes next time you log in. The account center was down for 18 hours last weekend while engineers made many upgrades and improvements.

I spoke with an Overture rep last week, and she said fixing bugs was the main reason behind the system maintenance. Specifically, the Manage Listings page was ultra sluggish for accounts with quite a few keywords. Also, when your session timed out and you tried to log in again, you'd get a login error even using the proper login info. That problem persisted for months. It's about time they fixed it.

As far as enhancements go, it looks like they've added some navigation improvements. On the main menu page, the Account Status has been moved to the right-hand side of the page. In addition to the normal summarization of account balance, daily click charges and estimated account depletion, you now see how many listings you have, how many listings are in the "low Click Index range," and recently removed listings.

The Click Index rating, which relates to the relevancy and clickthrough rate of the ad, has been around for a while, but until now, there wasn't really a way to find out which listings were in danger (until you got an e-mail from Overture warning you about a listing). However, terms that never get clickthroughs were obviously potential victims. Now, you'll see it bright and clear on the Manage Listings page. Basically, it's the same thing on AdWords where, if your ad ain't cutting the mustard, you need to fix it, or they'll mothball it.

All in all, these are good changes. Especially the speed enhancements. And, the process of adding listings sure has changed! It is considerably easier than it used to be. You can now use one ad title, description and URL for multiple keywords, a la AdWords, and that's a huge time saver! Be careful about doing this if you want to track results by keyword, though.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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