Yahoo’s Panama Tools Getting Positive Views

I’m hearing more and more positive things about Yahoo’s Panama advertising tools, including this from analyst Mark Mahaney at Citi yesterday:

Our conclusion is thatYahoo!’s new front-end tools represent a material enhancement from Yahoo!’s prior search offering. Further, we believe these tools are now largely comparable to Google’s and Microsoft’s. We would specifically highlight the following areas as showing material improvement: geographic targeting, campaign management (especially ad testing capabilities) and overall ease of use (especially fast ad campaign activation).


  1. “Largely comparable” isn’t good enough. They’d better be better to have even the slightest chance of gaining market share.
    Those unhappy with AdWords and AdSense will switch but just “comparable” will attract only the weak performers and the disgruntled–not good enough.

  2. A couple of things:
    – You’d HOPE they’d be at least comparable – but in this market, the more “substitutable” the UI, the better. In other words, I don’t choose between Yahoo / MSN / Google. I want to use them all with as little effort as possible. I want the UI’s to work in exactly the same way (i.e. like Google’s).
    – Which means – differentiation comes from the most / best inventory at lowest cost. Yahoo has to improve search share and increase ROI to make any headway.
    Overall, I’m a big user of Google AdWords, and its UI workflow & the volume it delivers are far and away the best. MSN and Yahoo are distant seconds.

  3. I’ve actually done a few blog posts recently about Panama. I like the dynamic keyword insertion, the geo-targeting, the support for Google features such as individual keyword bid pricing (keyword ** price), etc. The geo-targeting tool is nicer than the Google one, and the whole interface leaps them above MSN, which is just plain slow.
    Are they better than Google now? No, but they have caught up a fair way (day parting would have been a nice option to bring them further into parity).
    One thing I don’t like is the 20 campaign per account limit, that can only be increased if you spend $120k per year on that account, but it’s still leaps and bounds over the old Overture system with its one budget per account.