Thursday, 19 April 2007

Yahoo! to extend 'Panama' to Australia

Advertisers in Australia and New Zealand who are using the Yahoo! Search Marketing pay-per-click advertising service have been contacted this week with an announcement that the new-look service will be introduced later this year.

Originally code-named 'Panama', Yahoo!'s long-awaited upgrade to their PPC service was first launched in the US at the end of 2006 and is now fully operational there, with early reports indicating that it has benefited both advertisers and Yahoo! itself. This comes at a time when Yahoo! has just released its 1st Quarter results for 2007 which show a 9% increase in sales over the previous year (to $1.18b) but an 11% fall in net income, to $142m. However, Yahoo! has stressed that the benefits of Panama are not yet showing and the results later this year will show a better reflection of this new development.

Yahoo!'s new PPC will offer Australian advertisers a more flexible advert and bid management which is more closely aligned to the Google (and Microsoft AdCenter) model. Some changes will need to be made when transferring existing accounts, especially as shorter advert text will be introduced soon, but it should enable some better tools to cover the sponsored search listings on most of the other main Australian and New Zealand search tools not covered by Google.

So the question is, when will it be introduced? If the US results have been so positive, then Yahoo! will want to do this sooner rather than later. There may be a full roll-out to all other regions at the same time, or staged to key markets, so that the UK may see the new system next, followed by Australia in the third quarter of the year. We'll keep you informed of progress and review the new system once it is launched here.

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