Yahoo! Search Marketing may have been a pioneer in the pay-per-click industry, but anyone who has ever used its advertiser’s interface would probably agree that it has been light-years behind Google AdWords for quite some time. The interface is cumbersome, slow and just plain difficult for advertisers wanting to update their listings and make changes to improve their campaigns.
However, Yahoo! finally acknowledged the problem and spent a considerable amount of time and effort this year improving the interface to make it more user friendly, faster and more scalable.
Here comes Panama
Just a few weeks ago, Yahoo! announced the new platform – code-named “Panama” – was finally being released. This new system will replace the one in use ever since they acquired Overture (formerly Goto.com) in 2003.
The release is still limited. The complete roll-out of Panama’s ranking algorithm will not go live until the first quarter of 2007. However, current Yahoo! advertisers will have the option of migrating to the new interface during the next few months.
At first, the changeover will be taking place on an invitation-only basis, although advertisers can request to be switched and those requests will be considered.
The new platform brings a number of changes, including (but not limited to):
- A more intuitive interface, making it easier to add and update your listings, keywords and bids;
- Immediate activation of keyword bids, instead of having to wait for an editorial review;
- New forecasting features that will help you predict the performance of your listings along with various bid pricing factors.
In 2007, Yahoo! will also roll out an improved ranking algorithm utilizing a “Quality Index” (similar to Google AdWords Quality Score) that will determine ad ranking based on an ad’s quality and clickthrough rates, rather than solely on bid prices.
The Panama update is certainly a giant leap forward for Yahoo! Search Marketing in moving their advertising options to the same playing field as Google. Kudos to them!