Thursday, 19 July 2007

Yahoo! rolls out 'Panama' in Australia

Yahoo! has been rolling out their updated PPC management system, initially known as Project Panama, to clients in Australia this month, following its earlier introduction in the US and UK. It's been a phased approach, with client accounts being contacted by email with an invitation to activate their upgraded accounts. Once upgraded, the PPC accounts come to resemble a cross between Google AdWords and Microsoft's AdCenter tool and takes some getting used to.

On the positive side, Yahoo! have supplied some good help documents to explain the new account management system to clients who may find the changes quite daunting. However, the new interface seems painfully slow at the moment although hopefully this will improve as the system gets more established.

Some clients will need to make quite extensive changes to their previous Yahoo! PPC campaigns to get them to 'fit' within the new system. The other main frustration with the new account structure is that there is no historical data carried over (which has admittedly always been an issue with Yahoo!'s PPC system) and therefore if the account is upgraded mid-month the activity data will start from zero again and users need to access the old system to see data prior to the swop.

It's also a shame that Yahoo!'s keyword suggestion tool has now disappeared. This has been very unreliable in recent months and what was once a good 'quick check' tool for search terms seems to have disappeared for good as the new tool lacks the detail of data found before and becomes yet another element that makes Yahoo! PPC little different, and maybe worse, than the other main PPC services.

Time will tell if this proves correct and how clients will respond to the new system.

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