How Relevant Are Homepages to the Web’s Future?

    May 10, 2010
    Chris Crum

Update: Yahoo tells WebProNews the video (embedded below) " highlights the philosophy & possible creative for Yahoo!’s campaign." So while it may be on the web, I guess it won’t necessarily be the approach for TV. In other words, it sounds like they’re just considering this approach.

Original Article: Yahoo has a new advertising campaign going, which takes aim at Google. Will it help the company’s market share? Bing has been taking a similar approach since its launch. While its share has done pretty well considering how new the "decision engine" still is, it’s barely put a dent in Google’s.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo is dropping $75 million to $85 million on the new campaign. A representative for Yahoo tells WebProNews,  "the $75-$85M spend range is a subset of the $100M Yahoo! announced last year."  The campaign is kind of an extension of that "It’s Y!ou" campaign they launched last fall. "You" are still the focus. Take a look at Yahoo’s new ad:

Whereas Bing kind of attacked Google’s results with its commercials, Yahoo is going after Google’s homepage. Is this a good strategy? For one, Google offers a personalized homepage in iGoogle, for those who don’t want the simplicity. I also wonder how big of a role the homepage plays into the search habits of users at this point. There’s no doubt that it plays some role, but how many searches are increasingly coming from search keys on phones? How many from the search box on the browser? Or from various other apps and sites?

Clearly, Yahoo is not just plugging search here. It’s plugging its homepage in its entirety and all of the content and apps that go with it. How important is a homepage these days? I know I have pretty much all of the access points I need for a regular day’s worth of web browsing and working available right from my browser (via bookmarks/add-ons).

That’s not to say that Yahoo’s homepage can’t be useful. I’m sure many do use it frequently, but is the homepage really the way to win market share at this point? Particularly with mobile becoming such an important factor not just in search, but in how people access the web?

Now iPads and iPad-like tablets appear to be the next big thing. How important is a web homepage with these devices? Yahoo’s ad seems to come at a time when web access is trending away from the homepage.

I’m not saying the homepage is dead. You’ve got to start somewhere. But consolidating "everything you need" into one place seems to be happening more and more from a different level than the web itself – from the operating system, and the web browser.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz recently said, "Google Is Going To Have A Problem". Meanwhile, Google Chrome OS devices that will go right to the (Google-powered) browser upon startup are on the way. Android is already doing pretty well, and it’s getting ready to go to TVs. Google is now plugging the latest  version of its Chrome browser, which is apparently super-fast, as Chrome’s share of the browser market continues to grow. The world (or at least the fraction of the world that cares about the search industry) is still waiting for the integration of Bing and Yahoo.

Note: There is some conversation going on about this topic over on our Facebook page.

What do you think of the latest Yahoo ad? Will it be successful for the company? How significant is the homepage to your web browsing habits? Share your thoughts.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.