Yahoo said Tuesday that it will be opening up its search advertising system, code named "Panama," to new customers. Previously, only current advertisers were able to access the service, which aims to put the company on par with services from Google and Microsoft.
The Sunnyvale, Calif. based company has fallen somewhat behind its competitors, but Panama is expected to close that gap. It offers the ability to rotate different ads through the systems, methods to test keyword effectiveness, and ad budgeting capabilities.
It will be the first upgrade to the ad service system since Yahoo purchased the current system from Overture in 2003. Company executives hope an increase in advertising revenue would be able to offset recent declines in the company's stock price.
Since its high point in January 2006, Yahoo stock has fallen nearly 40 percent, rattling investor's nerves and prompting a shakeup in the company's management structure. Its chief financial officer Susan Decker was reassigned, two other executives left the company.
Yahoo says it has received a universally positive response to the new system. "By giving companies the right tools, visibility and environment to create highly effective search marketing campaigns, Yahoo! is connecting businesses to consumers more effectively than ever before," product and platforms senior vice president Steve Mitgang said.
The company's partners have also responded positively: "Yahoo! has long been a key search marketing partner of ours, and based on the performance we've seen so far, we're confident that the new platform will allow us to deliver even more value to our clients," DoubleClick search vice president Stuart Larkins said.
To migrate the hundreds of thousands of advertisers to the new platform, Yahoo will continue to offer invitations to the new platform throughout the month of December and into next year. Folllowing the rollout in the U.S., the service will be extended to Yahoo's international.