Remember when Yahoo started to roll out its new homepage last summer? It’s been live for all users for about three months now, and today Yahoo’s annual Analyst Day, senior vice president Tapan Bhat gave an overview of how the redesigned homepage is performing. In the past three months, pageviews are up 9 percent, and time spent on the homepage is up 20 percent.
The whole focus of the redesign, and across Yahoo in general, says Bhat is to increase what he calls PageYield. The yield of a page on Yahoo is measure of how engaged consumers are with that page. (As opposed to PageRank, which is how Google scores pages on the Web in its search results). PageYield is a measure of how much time is spent on each Yahoo page and how many pageviews it gets, but also how much downstream traffic the page generates, and how often people come back.
Some of the big drivers of user engagement come from the ability to customize the homepage by adding applications and feeds from anywhere on the Web into the My Favorites column on the left-hand side. According to Yahoo consumer surveys, 75 percent of users love the applications area and 40 percent are using between 6 to 11 apps. Usage of that feature is up 8 percent over the past three months.
The other success story is the “Today” module on the homepage which targets news and other information to each user. Clickthrough rates on those stories are up a whopping 76 percent.
Simplifying the page has made it less cluttered and increased engagement with what’s left, which makes sense. The frontpage ad is also benefiting, seeing a 10 percent increase in clickthroughs since the redesign launched. Simpler is better. But Yahoo is still seeing a financial impact from reducing the number of total ads on that page.