This afternoon Yahoo announced that it is finally going live with the rollout and transition to its new Yahoo Search Marketing platform, dubbed ‘Panama’.

Yahoo is converting over its first group of advertisers to the Yahoo ‘Panama’ system today, and expects the majority of Yahoo advertisers to be transitioned into the system by the end of the year, with the option for advertisers to make the switch after the busy Christmas season.

First impressions are overwhelmingly positive and it looks like the new Yahoo Search Marketing will ideally:

- Close the monetization gap with Google
- Breathe new life into Yahoo Search
- Monetize Social Media
- Boost the growth and popularity of the Yahoo Publisher Network

Here is a message from Yahoo on the change:

Starting today, we’ve begun inviting advertisers in the U.S. to upgrade to the new campaign management application. In fact, we even had our first external customer transition to the platform today.

What does this mean? This marks a significant turning point in our efforts to deliver additional value for advertisers, helping them better manage their campaigns to realize increased returns. In addition, we believe that through this platform, we will be able to unlock the full potential of our large global user base and improve our search monetization capabilities.

To facilitate a smooth upgrade, Yahoo! will transition customers from its current system to the new platform on a market-by-market basis. Invitations to upgrade will be issued in stages to U.S. advertisers over the remainder of the year and early next year. Since our goal is to ensure a smooth transition, we will be flexible and accommodate those advertisers that wish to defer the upgrade until after the holiday season.

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