Yahoo Opens New Advertising Platform - InformationWeek

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Yahoo Opens New Advertising Platform

Since its launch in October, Yahoo's new search marketing platform had been available only to the portal's existing advertisers. Now it's available to any U.S. company willing to open a search-advertising account with Yahoo.

Yahoo has opened its new search-advertising platform to all U.S. business, a milestone in the portal's strategy to catch market leader Google.

Since its launch in October, Yahoo's search marketing platform, known by the code name Panama, had been available only to the portal's existing advertisers. As of Tuesday, any U.S. company willing to open a search-advertising account with Yahoo can use the new service.

Yahoo is migrating its hundreds of thousands of existing U.S. ad customers to the new platform, which is the first major upgrade since Yahoo bought the search-advertising system from Overture in 2003. Yahoo is banking on the new system to make it more competitive with Google, which dominates the multi-billion-dollar market. Delays in launching Panama have contributed to a more than 30% drop in Yahoo's stock price this year.

With Panama, advertisers can create an account in five steps. Once in, they can create and manage campaigns, bid on keywords, determine placement of text ads in search results, set budgets, and monitor effectiveness through the number of click-throughs.

"We've received an overwhelmingly positive response to our new search marketing platform to date, so we are thrilled to open it up to all businesses that want to take advantage of our more intuitive and powerful system," Steve Mitgang, senior VP for Yahoo advertising products and platforms, said in a statement.

Yahoo plans to finish moving its U.S. advertisers to the new platform in the first quarter of next year. Following the U.S. migration, it plans to begin rolling out Panama to other regions of the world.

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