- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
- Tea Party Patriots call key GOP firing a declaration of war
Yahoo redesign aims to make site more inviting
Question of the Day
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Yahoo is renovating the main entry into its website in an effort to get people to visit more frequently and stay longer.
The long-awaited makeover of Yahoo.com’s home page is the most notable change to the website since the Internet company hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO seven months ago. The new look debuted Wednesday in the U.S., although it could take a few more days before everyone starts to see it.
It’s the first time Yahoo has redesigned the page in four years. In that time, the company has seen its annual revenue drop by about 30 percent from $7.2 billion in 2008 to $5 billion last year as more online advertising flowed to rivals such as Internet search leader Google Inc. and social networking leader Facebook Inc.
Mayer, who spent 13 years helping to build Google into the Internet’s most powerful company, has vowed to revive Yahoo Inc.’s revenue growth by establishing more of the company’s services as daily habits that “delight and inspire” their users.
Yahoo.com’s revamped home page figures to play a key role in determining whether Mayer, 37, realizes her ambition.
Despite the company’s recent financial malaise, Yahoo’s home page has remained one of the Internet’s top destinations. The page attracted 392 million worldwide visitors last month, a 7 percent increase from 365 million at the same time last year, according to research firm comScore Inc. By comparison, Microsoft Corp.’s msn.com drew a crowd of 334 million, up 4 percent from last year.
But visitors haven’t been spending as much time at Yahoo.com when they check in. They also haven’t been making as many return visits each month. That’s been a problem for many other websites, too, as Facebook and other online hangouts capture more of people’s online time.
Yahoo’s revamped home page isn’t a radical new look, but there are enough changes that could make the website more addictive. In a blog post, Mayer wrote that she is trying to infuse Yahoo’s home page with a “more modern experience.”
The biggest switch will be in how Yahoo determines which stories to show each visitor on the home page and how the information is displayed.
Yahoo, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., already knows a lot about people who have been coming to its website for years, particularly if they logged in while visiting. People willing to connect Yahoo with their social circles on Facebook also are more apt to see stories that appeal to them. That access will enable Yahoo to pick out stories about subjects tied to a person’s interests on Facebook, either directly or through their online friendships. More tools will empower users to designate their areas of interest, too.
The news feed also has been retooled so it is constantly refreshed with more material as a person scrolls down the page. (Yahoo gets its news content from many sources, including The Associated Press.) The ability to endlessly peruse stories is ideally suited for viewing on smartphones and tablet computers controlled by touch, although the feature also works on desktop machines operated with a mouse or keyboard.
Yahoo’s new home page also shows snippets of text from each story, borrowing a page from the Google playbook that Mayer helped write. Those summaries may be especially handy on the smaller screens of mobile devices, a growing market that Mayer has said Yahoo must do a better job reaching if the company hopes to bounce back.
To minimize the chances that its story selections will irritate users, Yahoo is also adding controls that make it easy to inform the website about which topics aren’t of interest.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
- GOP Rep. Tim Murphy rolls out mental health legislation
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Selfie at heart of Obama fiasco to stay secret
- White House faces press revolt over access to Obama's South Africa flight
- MALCOLM/REIMER: Over-criminalization undermines respect for legal system
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
NFL junkie Eric Golub reports on his favorite obsession. There is no football offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Lists of top ten movies, songs, funny moments, fashion statements, automobiles, children's names, stupid celebrity moments, first dates, last dates, weddings, and much, much more.
Communities writers read and review current and past books of note. Also, news and views focusing on print and online media.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow