Why Yahoo Is Losing
Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo, had a fiesty sit-down with Michael Arrington of TechCrunch yesterday at the Disrupt conference. Aside from telling him to “fuck off” she said the following:
What is Yahoo? Yahoo is a company that is very strong in content. It’s moving towards the web of one. We have 32,000 variations on our front page module. We serve a million of those a day. It’s all customized. Our click-through rate went up twice since we started customizing this. People come to check the things they like. “You can just get it together.” Yahoo is one site people always stop at.
Unfortunately, they’re lazy. I used to read Yahoo news as my default home page. I don’t anymore. Why? I hate their layout. They pay no attention, whatsoever, to user experience and, instead, are focussed on forcing “click-through” rates instead of providing a better product. Here’s an example.
I was trying to read an AFP article on BP’s attempt to perform a “top kill” to shut off the oil leak (deluge?) in the gulf. This is what the page looked like:
The information that I really wanted to know is “what is a top kill”. Lucky for me there is a handy infographic on the left side. So let’s click on that to see it larger, shall we? Here’s what we get:
Putting aside the garish red ad and the sponsored links and the morass of related links, trending topics, and other things Carol wants me to click on, there is one thing I wanted from this page: a legible version of the diagram from the page before. Can I have that?
Here is the largest version of that infographic that Yahoo makes available:
Can you read a word of it? I can’t.
Yahoo succeeded in a click-through and offered nothing of value. If you are advertising on that platform you gained nothing from that additional page view and I have gained nothing of value from Yahoo.
Fuck off, Carol.
And just for contrast, here’s the completely legible infographic the New York Times offered to illustrated the same thing: