By Bartley McGowan
Feb 16, 2007
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Last week on February 5th, the world was greeted with the exciting news that David Lee Roth would be reuniting with Van Halen for a big summer tour. Was it any coincidence that this was also the same day that Yahoo!’s new search marketing project Panama would be fully rolled out for all its ads?
Is it any coincidence that Van Halen’s “Panama” never peaked past #13 on the charts, never reaching the success of the first single on the album “Jump” which shot up to the #1 position? We all know Yahoo! was the king of the search world before Google came around. They were #1 and now are stuck trying to catch up to Google. 1984, the album which included the hit songs “Jump” and “Panama” was also the last album with Diamond Dave and Van Halen never really achieved the same level of success with Sammy Hagar. So does last week’s full roll-out of Yahoo!’s Panama mean they are ready to move up the charts again? Only time will tell.
Right now, it is too early to really make a call. Some advertisers have only been using the new platform for a couple weeks. Shareholders are hoping that the hype is true, that this new interface will bring in more relevant leads and as a result increase Yahoo!’s revenues. Most of the thinking on Panama is that it’s Yahoo’s attempt at making it’s search marketing product more like Google’s, but from this user’s limited experience with it, it really doesn’t seem like much has changed. It certainly doesn’t have the usability and intuitiveness that AdWords has. Yes, it looks nice and there are some fancy graphs on the dashboard, but you still can’t schedule your ads not to run on the weekends or in the middle of the night for example.
The other real issue has to do with whether or not people will come back to Yahoo! to search. No matter how much time and energy went in to revamping Yahoo! Search Marketing and no matter how much better the program may actually be, it really doesn’t mean anything if users are not coming to Yahoo! in the first place. Even if Yahoo!’s advertisers love the new system, that doesn’t mean more people will be clicking on their ads and coming to their sites.