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The Overture API: Advertiser Web Services

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With the rumors going about Google's API, it's worth noting that Overture already has one -- and says this has been the case since 2001.

Called Advertiser Web Services, AWS allows Overture advertisers to interact with their campaigns through an XML format. Overture tells me:

  • It serves as a conduit for interacting directly with Overture's products and tools and provides an open platform and universal data format that can be adapted to manage Overture accounts, listings, bids and more.
  • The automation capabilities provided XML API are more efficient than the standard web based UI, reducing cost per transaction or allowing current advertiser resources to focus on optimization and other value-added roles.
  • It offers the ability to create customized applications with automated business rules that govern Overture campaign management and optimization
  • Provides account, campaign and keyword performance reporting in readable format to a licensee's back-end systems

  • It's free to Overture advertisers but fee-based for technology providers and third parties. Overture says when fees are charged, these are only to cover any actual costs incurred to maintain the system.

The API doesn't allow advertisers to cherry-pick which sites in the Overture network that they'll target. But the rumor that Google's API will allows this is just that -- a rumor, and one I find surprising and perhaps caused by some confusion between managing campaigns and controlling where ads will actually appear.

How to find out more about Overture Advertiser Web Services? Sadly, there's no page at Overture I can point you at. Instead, contact your ad rep.

Postscript: An info page has now been posted.

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