NY Times Covers Panama

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At Yahoo!, today is the official launch of the new ranking algorithm, internally called “marketplace design.” It complements the Panama platform. Miguel Helft at the NY Times has a long article that, among other things, speculates on whether it will effectively boost Yahoo!’s fortunes and close the monetization gap between the company and chief rival Google.

Marketers want Yahoo! and Microsoft to succeed in search because they don’t want a single dominant company to control all their ad dollars. So you can bet that people will be eagerly testing Panama.

The thing that’s least understood about the system, because it’s hard to explain is the way in which it can be adapted or changed quickly, without “downtime.” The article touches on this to a degree, but this is the thing that some of the Yahoo! folks who developed the platform are most proud about.

Sue Decker on the Yahoo! earnings call was asked about Panama and its impact on financial results. Here’s her response:

Financially, we expect to begin to see a positive effect from this new system beginning in Q2 of ’07 and then building throughout the year. Consequently, our business outlook implies acceleration in growth beginning in Q2, after we have had a couple of months of the new search ranking algorithm to be fully operational.

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Here’s search marketing expert Mona Elesseily’s lengthy discussion of Panama and the new ranking algorithm.

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