Overture Services offered online advertising services. Its network of Web portals and search engines delivered sales leads to advertisers in various industries.
Idealab launched GoTo.com and introduced the concept of paid search to the Internet. A controversial idea at the time of launch, GoTo completed hundreds of millions of paid introductions, each of which represented the successful match of a user need with an advertising offering. The company went public in 1999 and in 2001 became Overture Services. Two years later, the company was acquired by Yahoo! for $1.6 billion. Today this business model is the underpinning of the multi-billion dollar online search market.
Yahoo! began phasing out the Overture brand after acquiring the company, though it continued to be in use in some countries for several years and is still used in Japan and Korea.