Tuesday, July 8, 2008

RSS didn't kill the homepage

So ... 4 years ago it was predicted that the humble homepage would start to die a slow death as aggregation technology allowed used to tailor their own experience, and thus ... their true 'home'. RSS was going to kill the homepage star.

Thing is - the homepage in AU isn't dying. It's more popular than ever.

All of the main homepages are up year on year - ninemsn, The Age, SMH, News and Yahoo!7. Note - this is more about a unique user figure deduplicated over a month period. I don't know whether they are spending more time or visiting more often.

Yahoo!7 has intentionally pushed people through to its homepage - if you watch a 7 show it generally pushes you to the yahoo7.com.au domain and asks you to search for the show title you were watching. This doesn't sit well with me - it inflates their search numbers and seems a lazy way to increase numbers.

Of the RSS aggregators - My Yahoo is losing users year on year ... however iGoogle has grown 100% during the same period.

It surprises me that homepages are still strong. Maybe it's habitual or maybe AU net users like them being a cluttered mess or editorial, display ads and advertorial. Sure, they are good for reach for certain campaigns and generally they offer a solus display ad unit ... but contextually they offer nothing.

Will be interesting to see how the homepage is fairing in 4 years time.

No comments: