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Yahoo Gets Personal With Redesigned Home Page

The redesigned home page adds personal features such as E-mail, instant messaging, and localized services in an effort to build a closer relationship with visitors.

Antone Gonsalves

May 16, 2006

2 Min Read

Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday launched a redesigned homepage that tries to build a closer relationship to visitors with personal features such as email, instant messaging and localized services.

The overhaul is the first for the Sunnyvale, Calif., Web portal since September 2004, and comes at a time when Yahoo is facing increasing competition for consumers and online advertisers from Google Inc., Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and AOL LLC.

The new page, which is available in the United States, includes a "personal assistant" on the upper right-hand corner that lets visitors monitor their email inboxes for messages and access instant messaging and local weather, search and movie listings.

Yahoo highlights what's popular among its users with a Yahoo Pulse section that features their favorite movies, hotels, digital cameras and other topics.

Yahoo also has reorganized elements of the old homepage for better navigation. The center features tabs for the latest features and entertainment, sports and financial stories. Services, such as job listings, street maps, games, shopping, TV and travel, are listed in a left-hand column.

Yahoo has remained a strong competitor despite growing competition from the major Web portals, as well as newcomers, such as social networking site MySpace, owned by News Corp. In online search, which has grown into a multi-billion-dollar advertising market led by Google, Yahoo has consistently held onto to the No. 2 spot.

In March, Google and Yahoo increased the number of searches on their properties by 41 percent and 47 percent, respectively, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Google had 49 percent of the market, and Yahoo, 22 percent, while MSN lagged behind at 11 percent.

Worldwide, Yahoo in March lead all other global Web properties in page views with 137.2 billion, followed by Google, 108.7 billion, and MSN-Microsoft sites with 96.2 billion, according to ComScore Networks. In terms of unique visitors, Yahoo was third, behind No. 1 MSN-Microsoft sites and Google.

Local preview versions of the new Yahoo homepage were launched Tuesday in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. More enhancements are expected to be added before its generally available worldwide this summer.

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