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  Yahoo's Disappointing Analyst Day

In the earnings call last month, Yahoo execs kept pointing to May 17 as a big day. That's when they'd detail the features and rollout plan of their new ad system designed to get them back in the game against Google.

Too bad they didn't say anything today we don't already know.

Yahoo doesn't seem to have a webcast posted, like Google did for its recent product day, and there really isn't much press coverage of Yahoo's analyst day yet. I guess that's what being the #2 internet property really means - the press doesn't care that much about you.

I was most interested in specifics of Yahoo's new ads system (codename: Panama) that's supposed to compete with AdWords. Danny Sullivan covers it and he calls Yahoo's new system a 2nd generation ad system (he calls Microsoft's adCenter a 3rd gen system, primarily due to the demographic targeting and dayparting. Google's is currently 2nd gen in Danny's classification.) Overall, the details aren't that exciting, and there's no proof in the pudding, yet.

Yahoo also wasn't specific on when it's actually going to be working. According to Danny's report:

When? Platform tests through Q3 this year, then deploy in US, then Q1 next year internationally. Advertisers will also come into the new platform. The ranking system itself won't change until Q4 this year in the US, it's expected, then Q1 internationally

Platform tests thru Q3 means maybe mid-November? Too late for most the Christmas rush for most people, I think. A really weasel-ly answer, for all the buildup this day got back on earnings day.

My feeling from afar is that Yahoo's analyst day was even more content-free than Google's was. The SJ Mercury covered it and local search expert Greg Sterling seems to agree.

But Sterling and other analysts at the meeting, held at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, said they were disappointed that the company did not provide more specific information about its operations.

Update: On Greg Sterling's blog, he does a bit of a data dump, and says that Tim Cadogan presented a "dizzying array of specifics" on the new ads system. That sounds better, if anyone would enumerate those I'd be interested, but I still think Yahoo under-delivered by not being more specific on release date...


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