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October 18, 2006

Yahoo Launches New Search Advertising Platform: “Panama”

Yahoo has begun converting advertisers to their new Panama ad system. Yahoo previously announced they were going to delay the launch of Panama earlier this year. Advertisers will be migrating to the new system in stages via an invite from Yahoo over the remainder of this year and early next year; however users may request an early upgrade from Yahoo.

Yahoo made the announcement after it said its quarterly profit slipped 38 percent and also forecast that fourth-quarter revenue will be below analyst expectations. The announcement immediately impacted Yahoo's stock price, and may have implications for Google as well.

Panama's new design promises to be more intuitive with the addition of Ajax and improved graphical interfaces. Also included in the new release is instant activation of keywords and enhanced forecasting features. Andy Beal at Marketing Pilgrim provides a great description of the new Yahoo Search Marketing system along with screenshots of the improved interface.

Yahoo also plans to change the ad ranking algorithm, taking ad quality into account as well as bids, similar to how Google Adwords currently works. This change will not be rolled out until early next year.

I, myself am extremely excited about the launch of Panama and cannot wait until we receive our account upgrade invite so I can begin using the new and improved features.

October 12, 2006

Yahoo and Google Fall Updates

Yahoo has announced that rolled out an index update on October 10, 2006. Marketers should notice a change in some rankings and a shuffle of the pages in the index.

Matt Cutts, the well known engineer at Google, has also announced some updates going on at Google. Google just recently exported PageRank info, so people should be seeing some changes in PR as viewed in the Google toolbar. The rest of the changes at Google are infrastructure changes and deal with the Supplemental results and making sure that "site:" queries are more accurate. Google has also pushed out new "link:" query information to reflect more backlinks pointing at sites.

I also want to mention the recent upgrades to Yahoo's Site Explorer. This program is a simpler and less enhanced version of Google's Sitemaps program but is improving slowly. Check it out and watch for future enhancements. I also recommend converting your Google Sitemap to a Yahoo Sitemap and submitting it to Yahoo.

-Mark B