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Yahoo Search Ads: Panama in the News

We mentioned it last week, and the change was effective yesterday: Yahoo Search Ads are now limited to 70 characters. Longer descriptions will be cut off in US results. Go update your ads if you haven’t already! (via)

Also yesterday, John Batelle reported on a report by Reprise on Panama (PDF). From the Executive Summary:

In short, while it was found to be a significant upgrade over the previous Yahoo DTC (Direct Traffic Center) system (especially for enterprise-grade clients), there are several challenging aspects of the Panama upgrade that may impede Yahoo’s ability to access the long tail of the market.

Among the positives mentioned in the Executive Summary:

  • Over the period including the launch of Panama, average CPCs went down
  • Over the same period, their average click-through rates increased, now comparable to Google’s
  • Similar layout (to Google’s) “helps establish industry-wide campaign management standards that will benefit agencies and enterprise-level search marketers”
  • New features (bulk uploading, dynamic keyword insertion, flexible editorial guidelines, geo-targeting, contextual tracking and remote campaign management) are not only nice, but very helpful for scalability
  • Hooray for new APIs!

Among the negatives:

  • Conversions from click-throughs were down 5% (Google and MSN’s conversions went up)
  • While better, the UI “doesn’t fully streamline campaign management”
  • “Though the system makes strides towards establishing industry standard campaign structure, terminology and API access, it often finds itself under-delivering on the actual execution of these new features.”

What do you think: is Reprise right?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    I wonder if the increase in CTR was enough to offset the slide in CPCs. If not, they should fire their CEO…oh wait. ;-)

  • Jordan McCollum

    LOL. Actually, it almost looked that way on the graph.