With little fanfare this week, Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) is burying Overture. Don't worry, the company's lucrative paid-search business isn't going anywhere. It is simply being given a new brand: Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? Wouldn't it have been easier to just give Overture an exclamation point? I'll say. Yet before Overture is laid to rest, I'd like to give it a more proper burial.

See, Overture has been very good to Yahoo! While the Web portal giant made some iffy acquisitions like GeoCities and the Mark Cuban-enriching Broadcast.com during the dot-com boom years, as well as some more sensible pickups like Monster Worldwide (NASDAQ:MNST) rival HotJobs.com, scoring Overture is hard to top.

The pioneer of relevant bid-for-placement ads, Overture started out as GoTo.com before other portals took notice of the company's uncanny ability to turn a profit from something as simple as what had mostly been unbiased and uninfluenced search results.

It wasn't long before Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) America Online, and Yahoo! came calling. They partnered with Overture to serve up its contextual ads on their popular search pages.

When Yahoo! ultimately scooped up Overture in a $1.6 billion deal during the summer of 2003, it was landing a bargain. Sure, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) had come up with an awesome rival product in AdWords Select that was successful in prying away the search space of AOL, Earthlink (NASDAQ:ELNK), and AskJeeves.com (NASDAQ:ASKJ), but that $1.6 billion bought Yahoo! a subsidiary that now brings in the bulk of the company's profits. With Yahoo! commanding a $44 billion market cap these days, Overture was a steal.

That's why it's almost shameful to point out why Yahoo! has money on the table by not taking advantage of its paid-search network to compete with Google's popular AdSense service for content publishers of all sizes. But that may be changing soon. Tomorrow I'll be back with the scuttlebutt on why many believe that Yahoo! is ready to give AdSense a run for its sponsor money.

So here's to you, Overture! Your bricks helped pave the foundation for the dot-com content revival.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz remembers when GoTo.com's claim to fame was winning its case against Go.com for the use of its stoplight logo. He does not own shares in any of the stocks mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.