Yahoo! Japan’s Panama system will finally end on April 30th 2012

Yahoo has sent an update to digital agencies to remind us all that Yahoo! Japan’s Panama will be laid to rest on April 30th 2012. Last year in 20111 Yahoo! Japan in a worldwide unprecedented move replaced the US’s Yahoo! Inc. made search platform with Yahoo Sponsored Search Ver 3 which was made by Google.

Account managers will no longer be able to log into the system after April 30th 2012. The new system is up & running & is quite a bit better but since it’s made by a different provider. Truthfully the Panama platform was limiting on the data we could get from reports but it’s good to go through your old campaigns & grab what you can while you can.

Yahoo Sponsored Search Version 3 (Part 2)

Let’s recap:

Yahoo! Japan was faced with a situation where the already insufficient Panama Platform was at a point it was going to be scrapped by Yahoo Inc. If Yahoo Inc is going to start using Microsoft’s AdCenter it was obvious to everyone they would not keep updating the Panama Platform that Yahoo! Japan was using. Would Yahoo! Japan go with an untested SEM platform that Microsoft itself wasn’t even using in Japan for Bing? Or would they build their own in the alloted time? Yahoo! Japan is actually capable of creating their own platform. They have built their own mobile platform & content platform called Interest Match, so I don’t want anyone thinking they can’t build it’s a matter of can they build in time?
There are rumors that the talks between Yahoo! Inc & Yahoo Japan didn’t exactly go the way Yahoo Inc expected it. (Again this is a rumor). It was after that that Yahoo! Japan made an unprecedented decision in the Search World. Yahoo! Japan decided to get it’s new platform custom build off of Adwords. Yep Google Adwords technology. That was  announced around early summer 2010 finally the new platform Sponsored Search ver3 started it’s migration on November 8th. We couldn’t make any changes to accounts like 2 weeks before that.
The Migration from Panama Platform
Let me tell you the migration didn’t go perfect for everyone. Many search agencies & top advertisers use third party tools to control their ad bid rules & for reporting purposes. Someone forgot to check certain parameters in the development cycle because after the migration all third party SEM tools couldn’t connect with Yahoo’s new platform. When you are the person who is in charge of setting up the SEM tools for all accounts & all of them can’t connect I guarantee you there’s hours wasted trying to figure out what went wrong.
Initially they actual way to setup third party tools changed. We thought that after this give it a day or two & the data could be backfilled. Some accounts connected, some didn’t. All of the accounts had zero data the next day. All had trouble getting any data via API queries. This basically increased any SEM ad managers workload if your agency or your company utilized third party tools.
Also some of the guidelines changed with the transition. Some people may not have noticed but if you had disapproved ads you noticed. All in all any could say that the migration could have been handled but when you are replacing an entire advertising platform that is pumping million of dollars a day in media spends, could you have done any better? I feel the migration had mishaps but I think Yahoo! Japan and even the third party tool makers were trying to resolve most problems as soon as they could.
In Part 3 we’ll go over the actual system.

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Yahoo Japan Sponsored Search ver 3 Part 1

Yahoo Sponsored Search Version 3 (Part 1)

Yahoo! Japan has recently migrated to a new platform in November 2011. I’ve decided to wait over a month to use the new system & write a review of it. Truthfully there are not too many nonJapanese in the SEM industry in Japan compared to roles in advertising. This is one of the main reasons why there isn’t a lot of information that a migration even took place.
Background on the migration:
Yahoo Inc (US) and Yahoo! Japan are two separate companies that share the same branding. Yahoo is not number one in the US but Yahoo! Japan is top dog in Japan. Yahoo! Japan and it’s parent company Softbank also has vast investments in plenty of Japan tech companies. Over two years when it was announced that Yahoo Search would get bought by Microsoft & powered by Bing’s ad platform AdCenter.
At that point Yahoo! Japan was utilizing Yahoo Inc’s Panama platform without much bells & whistles. I can list quite a few issues that we had with the old Panama Platfom.
1. The time was set in concrete to US time. That means that your daily spend would actually end at like 5pm Japan time & reset after that. This made no sense to any of us.
2. Reports were very limited. The platform had like 3 useful reports. Keyword reports, daily reports, & Campaign reports. Other than the keyword report there wasn’t an option to get average positions. There wasn’t a Query report.
3. No Dayparting
4. There was an option to block sites but no option to pull data to see the various sites your ads were being served on.
5. Maintenance was done a few times during our work day but in the night in the US.
6. Reporting access didn’t really exist. You gave access to the whole account.
7. Importing had to be done in one format in excel. You’d beat yourself silly doing an upload till you figure this one out.
Although the system was bad Yahoo! Japan does have a top notch sales staff working for them. While Yahoo! Japan needed many changes to have a better system it just seemed like Yahoo Inc didn’t feel the need to make the system more efficient for Japan. Yahoo! Japan leases the technology from Yahoo Inc.
Yahoo! Japan has a steady growth in Japan & it very profitable. Microsoft’s AdCenter was at that point in time not utilized in any Asia Pacific country. This basically means it was untested in any double byte language territory. At that point I believed that they had two options.
Build their own or use Microsoft’s AdCenter. Building their own was something that I believe Yahoo! Japan has already started to do but with the timing I don’t think a sufficent system could be finished in time. The other option was to use AdCenter. I believe most would think that Bing is in Japan so AdCenter is not truly untested in Asia. Well Bing Japan gets it’s ads from Yahoo! Japan. It doesn’t serve ads from AdCenter either.
What happened next?
Find out in our next post…

Yahoo Japan Sponsored search Platform launch pushed till October

Yahoo! Japan which has been using the Yahoo! Inc platform Panama will finally migrate to a new system come mid October Yahoo Sponsored Search version 3. The technology backend is a modified version of Google’s own Adwords system but tweaked for Yahoo! Japan’s own requirements. The two company are not merged & will still be competitors in the Japanese market.

Yahoo Japan still dominates the search market but Google is not really far behind. Google Japan has been playing catchup & will carve it’s own niche in future markets especially Youtube, DSP, & Android technology. One problem for Google Japan was that it was often seen in Japan as a non Customer Support company but this year even by visiting the Google office myself I saw they are stepping up adding staff to help smaller companies. This is vital for Japan because Yahoo! Japan has had sales teams coordinating with smaller companies for years. I think this may have been the inspiration for them to launch the みんなのビジネスオンライン service that I discovered by accident.

The New platform will of course have a few changes such as

  • 4 match types instead of 2
  • Account daily spending cap will be eliminated
  • For mobile you may not target each carrier individually.
  • Agencies will have one login for all accounts.
  • Yahoo’s Keyword Suggestion Tool will be updated to include mobile stats

Yahoo! Japan will try to make the migration as simple as possible & will alert customers if there are any issues. Expect not to be able to upload new campaigns, keywords, or copy for about two weeks during the migration.


Yahoo Japan’s Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool stops updating stats

Yahoo's Keyword Tool
Who said the Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool was dead?

Yahoo’s Japan’s Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool has stopped updating stats finally it seems. Now I know quite a few of you are thinking this must be an old post or something that was just reposted from 2007. No it’s currently 2011 & Obama is the president of the USA. There has been actually several Keyword Suggestion Tools since the public & overused Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool vanished around 2007 but it seems no one writes about them.

The old Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool was pretty much a staple for too many marketing tools. If the tools were used for advertising that would have been fine but many of the softwares using the tool wasn’t geared towards paid search. It was used as an SEO tool and also benchmarks for domain stats.


In 2007 Yahoo launched the first new Keyword Suggestion Tool as they promised when they shut down the old one. Everyone was happy to hear that, business as usual right? Wrong. The first tool was agency only. Each person who used it had their own individual logins. Also there was never any press release on it. Agencies used it & kept quiet. Why not? This is the tool that finally is not being updated anymore.


So I know you’re wonder how do agencies get their data now? Well that tool to us was “So last year”. We already have a new tool by Yahoo! Japan. This tool also is schedule to be updated tremendously in Fall 2011. You want to know more about this tool?

Keep reading from time to time I’ll tell you all about it.

Yahoo Japan starts to use Google organic search results.

Yahoo Japan has started showing the same organic results as Google Japan.Integrated into the search results are results from Yahoo Answers, Yahoo video, & Yahoo shopping. The paid listings hasn’t been updated yet. At the Yahoo forum for Search Ad Agencies Yahoo Japan stated they would show us a beta preview before the paid listings is switched.

Breaking News: Yahoo Japan now using Google’s Organic Search Results

I just got back & was checking my analytic stats for some domains. I immediately noticed a huge increase in traffic from Yahoo for domains that recently wasn’t in the organic search results. After a quick check I noticed that Yahoo Japan has switched already to using Google’s organic search results.

Also Yahoo has added Yahoo shopping & Yahoo answer results to the results. Tis gonna be a great christmas afterall.

Yahoo Japan’s New Keyword Advice Tool 2010

The Overture Keyword Tool was killed off more than 3 years ago. The tool’s data was used by online business owners, internet marketers, domainers, & just about everyone else who needed to know the search volume of their target keywords.  The tool’s data was also integrated into plenty of various business’ tools.

Even though the tool was used by so many, the ratio of Yahoo’s paid clients to users who used the data varied a lot. So Yahoo made a decision to kill the tool with the promise it would come back later. Well about a year later or so it did come back. Yahoo smartened up though. Yahoo realized that Agencies gave them most of their business revenue so they made the new tool available to Ad Agencies that ran Paid search campaigns. I think I’ve had access to the Yahoo Japan tool for more than 2 years now. This new tool was really accurate on impression volumes from the previous month & would give keyword ideas & traffic click estimates.

Going back to 2 months ago I was attending a Yahoo Japan seminar for Agency workers & they informed us about yet another Keyword Advice Tool coming soon. This tool finally debuted this month. Summing it up in one word: BRAVO!! These are the new features that are absolutely amazing & useful

1. Search Volume from previous month
2. PPC Competitor level
3. Estimates/Volume based on Exact Matches or Broad
4. Estimates for only Listed Keywords (Only Google’s Traffic Estimator does this & the numbers are way off)
5. Include related keywords
6. Daypart Data
7. Gender breakdown
8. Location Breakdown
9. Age Breakdown
10.  Day of the week breakdown

This new tool was made domestically by Yahoo Japan & really gives Ad Agency’s a clear advantage in the detail we can now research better keywords for our clients. I’ve told our Yahoo Reps that come to GroupM how much I love the tool already but this is a public Thank You.. You guys did a great job. I would imagine that next the tool will include Mobile data. I can’t see what else I could need after that.

Yahoo Japan debuts new Keyword Advice Tool

Yahoo Japan debuted a new tool for Ad Agencies in Japan today. It’s a keyword advice tool. Since the overture tool went down this is actually the third keyword tool that they have made.

All of them require you either be an advertiser or Agency. The first Tool they made actually has more precise impression data. The new tool has more features such as demographic breakdowns & charts.

I will probably do a more indepth look at it on my other blog

I was at a Yahoo Japan seminar maybe a month ago & they informed us all they would be launching this in the fall. It’s actually better than I expected from first glance.

Sometimes it’s good to learn from the locals because there’s always things that won’t be published in English.

Have a good day…

Misleading things Pro domainers say

When I get a chance to read a domain blog I keep seeing constant misleading information especially about Yahoo & Google cheating domain investors. This isn’t exactly true guys. You always see them write something like Google gets $5 a click & gives us $.10 & our traffic is better. This definitely isn’t true.

In Yahoo’s case not everyone can use a Yahoo feed so yeah the payout is quite higher. I even ran my sites on Yahoo Japan’s feed for one year. The average domainer can’t use the Yahoo feed so over 90% of domain investors have no relationship with Yahoo in the first place. The Yahoo feed is not like Google but realize their ad inventory took a major hit last year worldwide.

In Google’s case the search feed & the feed used for domains are two completely different networks. Two different pricing models too. So yeah advertising on Google directly cost more. Advertising on a parked domain cost less. Think that parked domains convert “better”. Next time you guys go to work & talk to the marketing manager tell him you want to put 30% of the advertising budget on parked domains. Take your investment out of the equation & think when was the last time you bought your lady something because you saw it on a parked domain?

Development whether minor or large scale is totally different. The CPA model mass development also makes quite a different. The ad market was down last year the content network is pretty much the first to go when creating small budget campaigns. Although I respect the Pro Domains & what they do, it seems like they don’t understand the Google thing fully.