Yahoo's Panama good for big brand marketers: study

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New research from SearchIgnite and RBC Capital Markets found that 
since the launch of Yahoo's ad system Panama more than a month ago, 
big brand marketers have benefited most from the Quality Index. The 
feature is a score for ads that estimates average position and click 
forecasts based on budget allocation and ad quality.
In addition, Yahoo's click-through rate has gone up and its cost-per-
click has been stable. The research also found that Yahoo's market 
share for paid search advertising stabilized after dropping suddenly 
in 2006.
"The biggest key finding is that Panama has been overall very good 
for large brand marketers thus far - but keep in mind that it's 
really still too early to tell," said Roger Barnette, president of 
SearchIgnite, Atlanta, GA.
The report tracked more than 7.5 billion impressions and 85 million 
clicks across more than 500 marketers. It was based on research 
conducted in the fourth quarter of 2006 and running through Feb. 24, 
2007.
"In terms of challenges, I'm not seeing any for large brand 
marketers, which is [who] SearchIgnite typically represents," Mr. 
Barnette said. "While cost-per-click and average position have shown 
improvements, the volume of impressions have declined due to their 
new geographic filtering features, which has mitigated some of the 
expected performance improvements, but overall has still been a net 
positive.
"Our clients are preliminarily encouraged [to switch to Panama] but 
[are] still in wait-and-see mode."

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