Yahoo Releases New "Panama" Search Advertising System Early

Close Up Of Yahoo's Panama Pricing Feature

Yahoo's long-anticipated next-generation search advertising platform, Panama, has now gone live.

I've been at Yahoo for the past two days testing it and understanding how it works from those who built the new system. My raw notes are here on Search Engine Roundtable. Below are highlights of the new system.

  • The new system is now live for use
  • It's been in internal testing for months
  • Invites to use the new system begin next week. Want in on that early? Make a request using this form.
  • Testing accounts to be provided.
  • Voluntary migration of current customers will happen over next few months.
  • Mandatory migration will happen some time after first of the year.
  • New customers will go into the existing "old" system Yahoo inherited from Overture until they are migrated.
  • Using the new system means you tap into the new user interface. However, the "quality index" factor for ranking ads does not start until some time in Q1 2007. Notifications of this change will be sent out.
  • The new interface is snappier, more flexible and very sleek and user friendly.
  • There are bugs and things but they can fix them much more rapidly now, Yahoo says.
  • Yahoo promises faster ad approval
  • New system allows for start and end dates for campaigns but no dayparting yet.
  • Very cool AJAX-based spending caps, budgeting and forecasting interfaces that show impressions as you increase your bid.
  • Analytics and conversion tracking (with latent conversions) tracking capability provided.
  • Very advanced geotargeting, which means purchasing local sponsored search as a separate product may go away.
  • Quality Index (1 to 5 graphical bar scale) shown to advertisers now, so they can prepare their ads for when the ranking factors are used in Q1 2007.
  • Quality Index made up of clickthrough rate, keywords related to ad copy, display URL, landing page and other factors
  • Because of Quality Index & geotargeting, pricing models do change
  • APIs won't be completely free
  • The process of development of Panama is named Roosevelt. It allows them to rapidly add features and expand the YSM program quickly to mobile, video, local, etc.

Here are some screenshots. The dashboard:

Yahoo Panama Dashboard 2

The geotargeting feature:

Geotargeting Feature In Yahoo's Panama System

The interactive pricing/volume feature:

Interactive Pricing & Volume Feature In Yahoo's Panama System

Again, more details and rough notes at the Search Engine Roundtable. Andrew Goodman also has a write-up now here: No Turning Back: Panama Goes Live.