Searching Beyond the Paid

Friday, January 26, 2007

Panama Postscripts

Much is being said in the SEM forums, as well as mainstream media, about Yahoo's new advertiser platform, Panama. I blogged about it myself last week. One of the issues I mentioned was that geotargeting wasn't working properly in some cases. No official word from Yahoo as to whether the bugs have been fixed, but it seems to be working ok for me.

Let me elaborate. I set up one of my less-important and lower-traffic campaigns with geo-targeting to US states only - all 50 of them. My ad copy does not use any geographical references, since they really don't apply to our business. I just want to get rid of Canadian traffic, since we can't sell to Canada. After setting up this campaign and letting it run for a week, I compared impressions and clicks to the previous week. I know, not a true A/B split test, but it's a decent comparison. Impressions were almost the same as the week before, and we didn't get any Canadian clicks that I could see on that campaign. So, I think it's working in this instance - not to be confused with other instances of using tighter geographical regions, geo-targeted keywords and ad copy, etc.

I also talked to Yahoo yesterday about their lack of custom reporting, which is causing pain for me and plenty others. The rep told me this is a frequent request, and one that should be available "soon." I can't say what "soon" means, but at least Y is aware that they need this. Badly.

There's a good thread at SEW about all this, and Barry at SE Roundtable has a nice summary of the feedback so far. He even said we were "civilized and useful." Thanks, Barry! ;>)

It's my perception that, on balance, advertisers do like Panama. I find it much easier to navigate, and I really like the fast activation of ads and keywords. That said, Yahoo has some work to do. I just hope the improvements are made quickly so we can all make money together.


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