Yahoo Panama Walks Into Australia

    July 12, 2007

This is the problem with Yahoo’s name for “Panama”: it sounds quite strange when you discuss it in relation to other countries.  Nonetheless, the new ad system has found its way into Australia and New Zealand.

Panama “will allow advertisers to refine delivery to 35 regions within Australia and 16 in New Zealand and within those even to the level of individual suburbs,” according to iTWire.  This represents a vast improvement over the old, “one-size-fits-all” method.

As for whether it’ll be enough for Panama to take on Google . . . opinions vary.  “[I]t is uncertain whether Yahoo! will pose a significant threat to Google here,” writes The Age’s Julian Lee, who then notes that Google “has an estimated 80 per cent market share.”

Even folks with close ties to Yahoo seem cautious.  “Former Yahoo! Australia & NZ managing director Cliff Rosenberg said Panama had ‘levelled the playing field’ but it was going to be hard, though not impossible, for Yahoo! to take share from Google,” Lee continues.

Still, the introduction of Panama into Australia and New Zealand at least proves that Yahoo hasn’t forgotten about the region.  This is important, as Google typically seems to do a better job of paying attention; just three days ago, a “guest post” on the Official Google Blog came from Christine Knight, a Maximizer Associate for Google Australia.