Innovation

Yahoo: One hit, one error, and one high fly ball...

Hit: Yahoo's new no-fee API (Panama) is available to all businesses, not just major firms and advertising agencies. This isn't new news, it's been leaked for weeks, but it is good news to everyone, I feel, for public and well-documented systems produce superior results to all.

Error: Well, lots of them. I've gotten multiple inexplicable messages from Yahoo since last week regarding ad keyword rejection when keywords didn't change. Yahoo techs are baffled, and the matter's unresolved days later.

High fly ball: Yahoo also introduced discounts for click-throughs from some sites, what they term "quality-based pricing." When fully implemented, advertisers may exclude sites they don't want to advertise on. That rollout will include demographic targeting features for the content targeting program.

Some see this as reactive to Google's "Smart Pricing," added to AdSense a while ago, and that ad giant's praised for superior judgement of relevancy. Google takes nearly two-thirds of all the Web's ad biz, and increases openness about what is and is not acceptable. They're not wholly transparent, but (IMHO) much is known of their policies and they talk enough about them.

Although Yahoo changes may bring advertisers lower costs, it's certain to be frustrating to ad placement partners, for Yahoo's not specific in how they determine 'quality'. Those Webmasters already are blogging up a storm.

Since Yahoo won't explain to ad buyers where the new discounts will occur, and the rollout is gradual, not immediate, it doesn't add clarity for the advertisers.

Will these moves help keep Yahoo in the big leagues? Join the discussion.

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