Google loses more ground to rivals in AU

Google has lost further ground in the Australian Internet search market with News Limited's online venture, News Interactive, today becoming the latest to defect to rival outfit Yahoo and its paid search subsidiary, Overture.Under the deal News Interactive will replace Google's search and paid listing services with equivalent services provided by Overture and Yahoo across its stable of online offerings.

Google has lost further ground in the Australian Internet search market with News Limited's online venture, News Interactive, today becoming the latest to defect to rival outfit Yahoo and its paid search subsidiary, Overture.

Under the deal News Interactive will replace Google's search and paid listing services with equivalent services provided by Overture and Yahoo across its stable of online offerings.

Yahoo's site and Internet search products will replace Google's algorithmic search services. Google's pay-per-click search listing service, AdWords, will make way for Overture's contextual paid listing product Content Match.

"As the first network in Australia to implement Overture's entire online marketing suite, we believe that our agreement with Overture will set a precedent for the Australian industry," Nic Jones, Managing Director of News Interactive.

Precedent or not, News Interactive follows in the steps of major Australian Web properties Microsoft-PBL joint venture, NineMSN and Fairfax's online venture F2. Both media companies have entered deals with Overture in recent months.

While Google's position remains solid in the North American market, industry observers say the fight for the search engine market is increasingly moving out of the U.S. where, experts claim, ad revenue growth is slowing.

Overture Australia managing director, Mel Bohse, said that the addition of News Interactive's Web sites to the paid search provider's network would extend its unduplicated audience reach to 85 percent, based on research undertaken by Neilsen Netratings.

According to Jones, News Interactive receives more than 5 million unique users across its sites each month.

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