Be on the lookout for a new Yahoo tomorrow - a re-designed home page that that will offer the best of "My World" and "The World" on a single page.
Yahoo has been looking to up its game as a Web property by increasing the number of people on the site and the amount of time they spend on the site - a key to a strong advertising business, right? To do so, they have to give users a reason to hang out on the page and not click away. With the re-design of the left-column of the page - re-named My Favorites - Yahoo is heading in that direction.
The cool thing about this column is that it's less about Yahoo's other properties - the way it is today - and more about an individual user's Web hangouts. Need to check your Gmail inbox? You can do that from My Favorites. Want to see what's happening in your Facebook world? There it is. Looking for headlines from your favorite blog or news site? They can be added to that column, too.
That customizable column is basically using RSS technology to customize but, as the company pointed out, everyday users don't want to deal with subscribing to RSS feeds. Adding an app to a home page for a quick peek is more appealing - even if it's basically the same thing.
It's here on the home page where a user's two worlds - My World and The World - meet. Users are interested in different things - from sports headlines and financial news to events happening overseas or even in our own neighborhoods. By blending all of those access points into one location, the need to go elsewhere for that information diminishes.
Of course, if you don't see what you're looking for, there's a search box on the page to help query the Web for it. And, if you're really looking for something specific, watch out for a relevant ad to help steer your decision. There appears to be opportunities throughout the page - particularly within the apps in the My Favorites column - for some targeted advertising.
The company plans to also roll out the mobile edition this week, offering synchronization with the web-based version so that users don't have to do double the work to customize the page.
Still, as bullish as Yahoo has been about the new home page, it was less than enthusiastic about sharing details during a pre-briefing this week on how this new page will contribute to the company's financial performance, specifically the impact on revenue growth. After all, the new look of the home page has been one of the improvements highlighted by CEO Carol Bartz as being part of the new Yahoo, the one she's been running since January.
Google has said repeatedly, in defending its launch of non-revenue generating apps, that it's good for Google when people spend more time on the Web - meaning they're exposed to advertising longer. The same could be said about Yahoo's new push to bring everything that's important to you - from your inbox messages to your tweets to your headlines - to a single page.
The new page will be rolled out to users in the U.S. starting tomorrow afternoon and to users in the U.K. India and France by the end of the week. Users in Mexico and other European countries will see a rollout next month and those in Asia will see the new page next year.
Separately, the company said it will begin testing a revamped search page next month but offered few details beyond that, which was to be expected given the blog buzz about a widely-expected search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft and the fact that both companies report quarterly earnings this week.
Yahoo reports earnings tomorrow afternoon. Microsoft reports on Thursday.