Yahoo To Add Quality Score To Panama Feb. 5th

Below is the official press release from Yahoo! regarding the addition of a Quality Score to Panama.

UPDATE
Conversation with Gaude Lydia Paez, Director of Public Relations at Yahoo! has been added at the bottom.


Any comments can be posted on Panamania - They Are All Going Quality!

“Yahoo! is very excited to introduce our new, more quality-focused ranking model because it has the power to significantly enhance the experience we deliver to our users and unlock the full potential of Yahoo!'s search marketing network,” said Terry Semel, chief executive officer, Yahoo! Inc. “With this important piece in place our new search marketing system will allow Yahoo! to more effectively connect people with the businesses, products, services and information they are passionate about.”

To date, search ads on Yahoo! and its distribution partner sites have been ranked solely by bid price – the higher the bid, the higher an ad appears within the search results. When the new ranking model goes into effect, both bid and the ad's quality together will determine where an ad appears in the search results. The quality of an ad will be determined by its historical performance in the new system and its expected performance relative to other ads displayed at the same time. Ads of higher quality will generally receive better placement on the results page.

“By encouraging advertisers to focus on the quality of their ads, we can deliver a better search experience for all of our customers. Everybody wins.” said Tim Cadogan, Yahoo!'s vice president, search marketing. “We firmly believe that delivering more relevant ads to users will result in more quality leads to advertisers, invite even more participation in our network and ultimately create a more valuable marketplace for users, advertisers, publishers and Yahoo!.”

With this change, Yahoo! is providing advertisers with industry-leading marketplace visibility and features that allow them to better understand their performance and make informed marketing decisions. Advertisers who have upgraded to the new system (code named “Panama”) can gauge the quality of their ads by viewing the prominently displayed quality index within the Panama application. Yahoo! also provides advertisers with an estimated average position and estimated forecast of clicks for their ad campaigns, based on budget allocation and ad quality.

As a result of its customer-focused approach, Yahoo! continues to receive positive feedback about its new system and the upgrade experience.

“Internet search marketing is one of the most important ways in which our automotive customers connect with vehicle buyers, and Yahoo!'s Panama system makes it even easier for us to deliver that connection,” said John Holt, CEO of The Cobalt Group, a leading provider of marketing services to the automotive industry. “The transition to Yahoo!'s new system has been seamless for us, our clients are responding very positively to the new features, and we're fully prepared to help our customers maximize the quality of their ads when Yahoo! switches over to its new relevancy-based ranking model.”

Yahoo! will continue to send upgrade invitations to advertisers in the U.S. throughout Q1 2007 and anticipates that all active U.S. advertisers will be upgraded to the new system by the end of the quarter. Advertisers that wish to schedule their upgrade as early as possible can make a request through the upgrade reservation page: http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/newsponsoredsearch/invite/.

Yahoo! plans to begin the roll out of the new platform in non-US markets in Q2 2007. International rollout will be conducted on a market-by-market basis and will follow a similar process as in the U.S. by introducing the system interface first, followed by the new ranking model.


To sign up online for a new Yahoo! account or to learn more about the new search marketing system, please visit: http://signup.marketingsolutions.yahoo.com

About Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo!'s mission is to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world's knowledge. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Yahoo!'s new search marketing system and related strategic and operational plans. Actual events or results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the successful implementation, and acceptance by advertisers, of the Company's new search marketing system, and the reduction in spending by, or loss of, marketing services customers. More information about potential factors that could affect the Company's business and financial results is included under the captions, "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2006 which are on file with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Conversation with Gaude Lydia Paez
Q: The inclusion of the Quality Score can be seen as a way for Yahoo! to maximize their profits. How do you see this?

A. That is not the sole focus. We believe that what's good for the user will ultimately end up benefiting our advertisers and publishers alike. The Quality Score will help users as well as advertisers improve on their relevancy. Advertisers will benefit from geographic or product specific ads appearing before the right traffic to name just two.

Q. Will there be information available before the launch?

A. There will additions to the extensive help area, adding tips and general information of the Quality Score. Webinars on the new system are being made available to all advertisers who have upgraded and there is always the ability to call for assistance and information on Panama at 866-924-6698.

Q. What differences are there between the Panama system and the Google system?

A. Obviously each has its own algorithms and they will work differently. Relevancy can include many factors.

Q. Recent articles have been mixed about Panama, any comments?

A. We've been refining the system continually since it first launched as we we learn more through advertiser participation and feedback. We've identified many areas for improvement and have launched multiple enhancements since and we have had valuable assistance in fixing any bugs found. But what should be noted is that we are replacing systems which others have not done. This is a new experience for everyone.

Yahoo! is a user facing company; we have many types of advertisers and value their input in our improvements.

Q. Will the old bid history be used in Panama? And if not what will be used to determine Quality.

A. No the history will begin in Panama. Many of the people who developed Panama where the same people who built the Yahoo! search engine, so our search marketing algorithms incorporate learnings from our web search.


Any comments can be posted on Panamania - They Are All Going Quality!

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.