What I have been reading
A Remodel Opens Door For Yahoo on Investors Business Daily. It has been a long time since I saw the words “growth” and “portal” in the same article. Yet, here we have Yahoo’s real estate portal showing massive growth and moving into second place in the US market behind realtor.com. Let’s look beyond the the irony of Yahoo scoring a winner in a market which is currently in the throes of a meltdown and consider the implications for internet marketing in general. I’m fascinated by the apparent comeback of the web portal – a business model which has been overshadowed by the trendy world of blogs and search engines. Portals have seen their highs and lows over the last decade and, on occassion, have been declared as past their expiration date. A few years ago, I even came across a harsh critic of the content-laden MyYahoo compared to Google’s plain-vanilla search box page (unfortunately, I can’t find that article anymore). The success of Yahoo Real Estate should remind us that portals are not quite dead.
So, what has given portals a new lease of life in the age of Web2.0? Let’s dissect the article for a clue: By Yahoo’s own account, the new home valuation feature drives the majority of traffic on the Real Estates pages. Interestingly, home valuation is not a home-grown service, but an integrated third party content delivered through partners such as Zillow, Reply, and eAppraisal. Apparently, the combination of Yahoo’s search engine with broker property listings and partner company’ valuation databases is a hit with consumers. Web geeks call this mixture of multiple sources and features, often from very different web applications, a “mash-up”. Could it be that the mash-up will rescue the good ol’ portal from a premature death? Portal managers take note. Your next move might be to step outside the confines of your company and your industry to find original features, data, and services that can bring new life to your website’s existing content.