Yahoo announced June 4 that its Panama search advertising platform is open to third-party developers.
The new Yahoo Search Marketing Commercial API Program gives businesses and individual developers access to a series of APIs (application program interfaces) so they can modify the Panama platform to suit their needs.
The program offers three levels of partnership, ranging from a free Basic deal for small advertising agencies and technology companies, to Advanced and Elite levels with varying subscription rates. All participants have access to technical support, while advanced partners receive account management support and a listing in Yahoos partner directory.
Elite partners, according to a Yahoo statement, can "leverage the Panama platform, resources and brand via regular business review, product council, road map coordination and joint marketing activities." Early participants in the Elite tier include Efficient Frontier, Omniture, SearchIgnite and The Search Agency.
Yahoo launched Panama earlier this year to compete with Google, which pocketed about 25 percent of all online ad dollars in 2006. Yahoo garnered about 18 percent. Panamas ad ranking system, which surfaces sponsored search results based on click rate in addition to how much advertisers pay, is an improvement from Yahoos prior system, which surfaced ads based solely on price paid in auction.
Panama also allows advertisers to target ads geographically.
Panamas biggest success to date was a deal with Viacom to provide sponsored search and contextual ads to 33 of its entertainment sites. Viacom is suing Google for $1 billion over copy-right infringement on Google Video and YouTube.
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