More than a year and a half after last updating their home page, Yahoo! has introduced another overhaul designed at helping them maintain their position as the most popular site on the web. The move also aims to offer up access to more content with less clicks.

The new design won't be the public default for at least a few more months, but it is available for preview at

The new look brings an end to the well-known design with a centered Yahoo! logo surrounded by iconic links to popular Yahoo! services. The new look places a new prominence on search, moving the query box front and center at the top of the page. Apparently not ones to give up on their love of icons, Yahoo! has also shifted to a new three column design that fill the left column with tiny icons and text links that lead to popular Yahoo! features like finance, groups, maps, shopping and movies.

On the "instant information" front, Yahoo has also added six rollover options that can be customized to deliver local weather reports, local traffic conditions and quick access to your latest Yahoo! mail messages, your favorite LAUNCHcast radio station or to your Yahoo! Messenger buddies.

Other additions include a small information box offering some insight into popular Yahoo searches and another box offering the "Yahoo! Pulse." The Yahoo! Pulse will feature rotating content that aims to offer insight about cultural trends by analyzing user data.

The changes are pretty dramatic and any regular Yahoo! user will find it takes some time to locate all their favorite links and features. That said, Yahoo! has made it clear that they understand their users resistance to change. "Any time you touch the most visited page on the Internet, it's going to feel like a big change and we think this is a really big change," said Daniel Daniel L. Rosensweig, Yahoo's chief operating officer. "We feel like this [redesign] does something great for everybody."

As with prior Yahoo! pages, registered users can make plenty of customization changes to the new design. This includes changes to the color palette, a choice of the new three column or classic two column design and the obvious options to select a user's own news feeds and topics.

There have been some reported issues about accessing the new design with the Firefox browser, but most surfers seem to be able to access the new design just fine at

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May 16, 2006

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.

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