Yahoo! announced today that the Yahoo Search Marketing advertising platform (Panama) will be opening up to give developers and companies free and open access to their APIs.
Exactly the right move in my opinion, even if I may be biased on this one. By making it as easy as possible to build software, tools, and systems to buy advertising through the Panama platform Yahoo! can really only win more market share with the move. You can’t make everyone happy with your user interface, and there are search engine marketing companies out there who build their own custom software for clients to work with advertising platforms. Giving these companies a free and open API almost ensures they will build upon Yahoo’s platform.
Some are questioning whether this is desperation or aiming to take down Adwords. I can say that taking an open stance is not a desperation move, but the right move. Whether it’s aimed at Google or not, that doesn’t really matter. As the current market leader anything Yahoo Search Marketing does can and probably will be spun as an attack on Google’s position with Adwords.