Yahoo to redesign its home page

Yahoo is planning to launch a newly redesigned home page that features a cleaner layout and a better showcase for advertisers, according to sources familiar with the changes. The online portal, which has maintained the basic framework of its home page since 1995, will introduce the new site about mid-June, according to one source. Yahoo is currently hosting a user survey to gauge how Web surfers view the site's performance and usability.

The redesign is being fueled partly by advertisers, which are increasingly demanding more real estate on highly visible spots such as Yahoo's home page. Advertisers are irked that they can only buy minimal exposure on the main page of a site that draws a massive audience. The site sells a banner that is half the standard size of comparable ads on the Web. It also sells a square ad, or what it calls a "mantle" ad, in the center of its page for video or rich-media ads.

Yahoo has long tried to keep graphics intensive or intrusive ads to a minimum on its home page because the ads can inhibit speed and performance — key principles held with near religious fervor by Yahoo co-founder David Filo since the site first launched.

Increasingly, however, the Web portal is under pressure to cater to advertisers that could reverse a steep decline in its revenues. The company has stepped further in this direction since Yahoo brought in Hollywood veteran Terry Semel as chief executive last year.

News source: MSNBC - Yahoo to redesign its home page

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