The Good and Bad of the Panama Version of Yahoo

Yahoo Search Marketing has been switching users over to the new Panama Version since the 4th Quarter of 2006.  I have had the pleasure of working with the new Panama Version of Yahoo since November 2006.  While not everything is as user-friendly as I would like, it is a great improvement over the older version.

Let’s start by reviewing a few of the Pros of the new system:

  1. One of my favorites is being able to group together like keywords and write one or more Ads for all of them instead of individual Ads for each term.
  2. The time it now takes to get items through the editorial review process is normally less than 5 minutes, where before it could take 3 or 4 days.
  3. It allows you to be more specific when needing to geographically target a campaign; now you can target individual states.
  4. The new Panama version also allows you to set a separate budget for each individual campaign if you desire to do that.
  5. Changing from the old system of bid amounts determining ad position to using relevancy (similar to Google) is a plus for evening up the competition for the top positions and better quality for the searcher.
  6. Allowing for a longer version of the Ad to appear when your Ads are in one of the preferred positions.

A look at some of the Cons of the new system:

  1. The conversion process is one of the biggest Cons.  Regardless of how well you try to follow the instructions prior to the conversion, expect there to be problems once your account has upgraded.  To get as close as you can, you need to make sure that the keywords you want grouped together have the same Ad, including: title, description, and destination URL.  But even doing this does not necessarily mean the system will see the keywords as being similar enough to group them together in the upgrade.
  2. There is still no good way to make a lot of changes to your account unless you have at least a gold account.  The bulk upload option is only available to those accounts that spend $6,000 a year or more.
  3. You’re still not able to set up schedules for your accounts to run unless you are a Platinum account; spending $80,000 or more a year.
  4. Another CON is the amount of negative keywords allowed.  You are only allowed 50 negative keywords at the Account level and another 50 at the Ad Group level.  There are situations where this may not be enough to allow you to filter out unwanted traffic.


There are more Pros and Cons and I am sure they will all vary depending on the likes and dislikes of each account user.  While I still think Yahoo has a ways to go to make their system friendlier for the normal user, the new Panama Version is a major step in the right direction.