Yahoo’s Time on Homepage Up 20% Since Redesign

yahoo-logoBack in July, Yahoo premiered the latest version of their homepage. The two biggest differences were the ability to personalize apps to add content to the homepage, and ditching dozens of links to less popular Yahoo services. And after three months, Yahoo’s ready to report their progress: time spent on their homepage is up 20%.

Speaking at Yahoo’s annual Analyst Day today, senior vice president Tapan Bhat also reported that pageviews were up 9%. By Yahoo’s measures, the redesign is a success—they were going for greater user engagement (what Bhat dubbed “PageYield”).

The big changes—specifically personalization, but streamlining the links probably helped—contributed directly to the increased engagement. The personalized widgets in the page were well received by Yahoo-ers. Says TechCrunch:

Verizon and iPhone in 2010?

iphone-thumb.jpgIt’s a slow news day so we’ll just enter into the realm of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe, kinda, sortas’ for a minute and imagine a world without barriers. Sounds nice doesn’t it? Imagine a place where you would be able to have the best possible smart phone device for you personally regardless of who your carrier is or is not partnered with. Imagine there’s no dropped calls …. it’s easy of you try. I think I may be channeling John Lennon ……

Anyway, what I am imagining based on a report from All Things D is the ability to possibly have an iPhone even though I am a Verizon customer for the foreseeable future. That’s an interesting prospect for sure but one I will have to do a ‘wait and see’ on.

Google Wins Over the City of Angels

Google AppsGoogle went a long way toward answering the naysayers of their Google Apps offering. How you ask? By winning a contract to provide e-mail and other Internet services to the City of Los Angeles. Nice get.

While winning a contract is just the first step in proving that Google is a serious threat to the stronghold of Microsoft’s software business, it’s a pretty big step. This kind of deal will be felt up and down the left coast (that’s what we East Coast folks refer to the West Coast as). Starting in the great Northwest there will be some serious Steve Ballmer hand-wringing and maybe another Bobby Knight-like chair throwing moment or two. In NoCal (the Google Plex in Mountain View in particular) there may be some Tiger Woods-like fist pumps of victory. While in SoCal it’s likely that no one outside the people who made the decision will know or care because it’s not directly about them. Different strokes for different folks, right?

Barry Diller Ready to Stick a Fork in Ask.com?

Barry Diller is getting close to waving his white flag in the search wars.

During IAC’s quarterly earnings conference call, the top dog made it quite clear that Ask.com may be on the chopping block:

"We’ve been asked a lot whether we’re open to consolidating transactions in the area of search. The answer is yes," Diller said. "And, it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator."

While Diller cautioned "you cannot really make any absolutes" about deals, he acknowledged that Ask.com faced a challenging environment in a search business.

He may as well have hung up a "For Sale" sign on the Ask.com homepage!

Google’s At It Again: Releases Diluted Challenger to GazoPa

Tell me if you spot any similarities between these two announcements:

We’re pleased to announce you that GazoPa enters open beta today. GazoPa is a next generation image search engine that uses image features such as color and shape to search for similar images.

And…

Today, we’re happy to announce that Similar Images is graduating from Google Labs and becoming a permanent feature in Google Images.

Yep, Google’s at it again!

No sooner had GazoPa dared to enter the search arena, Google comes along and says "oh no you di’n't" and takes its Similar Images tool out of Labs. I mean, really, there’s just no subtly when it comes to Google. Dare to enter it’s space, and within hours it’s wrestling the spotlight off any challenger.

YaToo: Y! Going Real Time

yahoo questionApparently Twitter is all search-dealt out. After deals to bring real-time info to Bing (now) and Google (later), Twitter was not the last of the big three’s choice for real-time search. (But does it matter if Yahoo’s deal with Bing goes through?)

Instead, Yahoo, almost a week behind the others, plans to go real time with OneRiot, according to TechCrunch’s sources.

I know what you’re thinking. Who? Good question. OneRiot tracks trends on the real-time web. You can search several social sites’ updates from OneRiot, or you can use their toolbar to add real-time content to any web search. A search on one of their listed trending topics brought up seven news articles, all of which were listed as first shared on Twitter. They have the ten most recent stories on their main page—and when I checked, 90% were from Twitter. Hooray for catching that other 10%, Yahoo.

Baidu.com Profits Jump 42% Then Stocks Take a Dump

Baidu LogoYou read that correctly. Despite an increase in profits of 42%, which is a pretty strong showing by anyone’s standards, the stock price fell over 13% on the NASDAQ. How does this kind of thing happen you ask? It appears that Baidu.com is going to suffer from the same issue that has plagued Google for most of its existence which is that no matter how well the engine performs the naysayers will win the day. Remember some of the outrageous numbers that Google used to put up and the following outcry that it wasn’t enough?

Yahoo Finance explains why the stock tumbled despite otherwise chipper news.