GoTo changes name to Overture

GoTo.com Inc. is going away -- at least under that name. The pay-for-placement Internet search engine plans to change its name to Overture Services Inc., effective Oct. 8, GoTo.com said in a statement Monday.

The company has grappled with user confusion over its name, considered too similar to such Web portals as InfoSpace Inc.'s Go2Net.com and The Walt Disney Co.'s Go.com.

GoTo.com won a US$21.5 million trademark infringement settlement from Disney in May of last year, after alleging that Disney's circular green logo with the name "Go.com" was too similar to GoTo.com's own logo.

The company has weathered bad economic times and the collapse in online advertising revenue relatively well, and is predicting profitability in the third quarter.

Unlike other portals and search engines, GoTo.com relies little on advertising revenue, instead deriving much of its income from a business model it calls "targeted introductions." Under that model, advertisers bid for prominent placement of their links in search results, and pay GoTo.com a fee whenever users click on one of their links.

The company has more than 45,000 advertisers and claims to reach 75 percent of Internet users through its partnerships with companies that display GoTo.com's search results on their Web sites, including America Online Inc., Terra Lycos SA, AltaVista Co., and Microsoft Corp.

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