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What Do Yahoo’s Sponsored Search Tweaks Mean?



Apparently, “Things continue to be busy here at Yahoo!, and not just because of any on-again/off-again courtship by a company from a rainy land.” Yahoo announced yesterday a few minor adjustments in their Sponsored Search program. Among the changes:

  • Status for offline objects (campaign, ad group, keyword, etc.) displays in red. Objects that are online are displayed in blue or black letters.
  • The “Top Campaigns” and “Watched Campaigns” tables on the Dashboard page now include a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the “Campaigns” page, including adding a “Status” column.
  • Minor updates to the Ads table on an Ad Group page.
  • The ability to export (using the “Download” buttons) at the account-level Ad Group and Keyword pages, under the Campaigns tab.

(side note: Dear Yahoo Blogger-who-I-will-not-name: Try a 5-minute course in HTML or the little buttons at the top of the post window. Your code is ugly and the Internets will never, ever love you if you cut-and-paste a bulleted list from a word processor again.)

Could these minor changes signify something deeper? The latest rumors in the Google-Microsoft-Yahoo love triangle indicate that Yahoo and Google are working toward a permanent advertising deal, but nothing has come of them thus far. Even if they do announce a deal, Yahoo has indicated that they’ll continue to provide some Sponsored Search and they won’t abandon the “Panama” platform.

But is this more than just not abandoning the platform—does this mean that the Yahoo/Google deal isn’t forthcoming? After all, Google’s just announced that they’ll accept ads from third parties on their content network—but neither Yahoo nor Microsoft was invited to the party. Was this the “open platform” the Post‘s sources referred to—and has Yahoo missed the boat?

In case you’ve missed out on speculating about the fate and future of Yahoo this week, here’s your chance: is Yahoo’s blog post writing on the wall or just routine maintenance? Speculate away: my YahooSpetaculator3000 is broken.