SEM Certification Course and Yahoo

For those of you who are unaware, our next certification course covers the topic search engine marketing (SEM). In response to that, I have received several emails as to how the curriculum will pertain to Yahoo, in the midst of the Panama Update.

First, Yahoo’s Panama Update:

Later this year or early next Yahoo is scheduled to lunch a major change to its Search Marketing platform. This change is labeled “Panama Update” and will replace the old Overture platform with a platform similar to Google Adwords and MSN Adcenter.

The Panama Update will eliminate the transparent bid platform which allows users to bid on the position they want based on the CPC they are willing to pay for that position. They will be replacing it with a platform which uses a ranking formula.

Rather than the straight forward formula which is Position = CPC (Cost Per Click), Yahoo will use an algorithm which is similar to Google’s which is Position = CPC x CTR (Click-Through-Rate) x Quality Score.

What is “quality score”? Quality score is something Google recently added to adwords to help determine a sites ranking. It is the terminology applied to Google’s attempt at artificially ranking sites based on content. Strong related content receives a high quality score, little or non-related content receives a low score.

So how will the Panama Update impact advertisers? Essentially, it will place more responsibility on advertisers to build strong adcopy and send traffic to high content pages. It will also eliminate bid slamming (jumping up to one penny under your competitors bid) and Yahoo is no longer expected to have a waiting period for ad approval.

The Panama Update will help to promote those merchants who spend time to test and build strong ads.

Now, as to how it might affect the SEM Certification Course:

Since, Yahoo has not announced when the Panama Update will take place, we are proceeding with the curriculum based on the current platform. However, if the Panama Update goes live prior to the class on Yahoo Search Marketing we will cover the new platform.

We are committed to making this course as practical as possible and want to make sure the training covers the most current optimization techniques.

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