Panama Gets Mixed Review From Wall Street Journal

Seems Kevin J. Delaney over at the Wall Street Journal got mixed reviews of Yahoo's new search advertising interface, Panama.

And this is news why? Virtually every product in the world has mixed reviews. Delaney gave some examples of how Panama has created problems for some of the smaller advertisers, while noting that most of the agencies realized they would need to make changes when their accounts were migrated.

The WSJ article was a good example of the depth of knowledge a non-professional in our space generally has.


Delaney summed up Panama this way. "At its core, it involves replacing a Web-based system created in the late 1990s for companies to buy search-related ads, which had developed a reputation among some advertisers for outages and other problems. As part of the upgrade, Yahoo plans to change how it selects which search ads to display for any user query, adopting a strategy already used by Google that has proven more profitable".

No brief mention of GoTo/Overture/Yahoo being the first and thus oldest PPC system created when ppc advertising was much smaller. Nor that they offered set bidding which many people will miss, to be replaced with the blind bid method of Google; that may be more profitable to the engines but thus more expensive to the advertisers.

Yes the categories were a little off and required some tweaking once Yahoo made the migration, but this was done so the ads did not have to go back through editorial.

The timing of the report, the morning of Yahoo!'s earnings report, is at best curious. The unfavorable comparison to its major rival twice in the article is hard to understand - though since it is Google one tends to understand.

The comments in our forum on this topic have been as mixed as Delaney suggests, but they generally come with more insight.

Even the "I hate the new Yahoo PPC" thread has only 4 nay sayers - and it has been up for over a month.

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.