Yahoo Inc is preparing to tweak several popular sections of its Web site, including its home page, during the next few months to accommodate more material from rival services as the Internet company tries to polish its tarnished franchise.
The makeover outlined for reporters yesterday represents a key step in Yahoo's push to regain the momentum that it lost while being outmanoeuvred by Internet search rival Google Inc and more recent upstarts like the rapidly growing online hangouts MySpace and Facebook.
Yahoo's previous dawdling crimped its profits during the past two years, leading to a dramatic downturn in its market value that triggered an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft Corp this year.
Since Microsoft withdrew its $47.5 billion bid in May, Yahoo has been battling to boost its stock price, which recently sank to its lowest level in nearly five years. Yahoo shares climbed 85 cents, or almost 5 per cent, on Thursday to close at $18.55 - well below Microsoft's last offer of $33.
Boasting 500 million users worldwide, Yahoo is hoping to bounce back by becoming an even more indispensable vehicle for Web surfers and advertisers. As part of that process, the Sunnyvale-based company has been spotlighting more content from other Web sites and extending its advertising network so it can run ads on more Internet properties.
Yahoo plans to open up more with the first major redesign of its home page since May 2006. The changes will enable Yahoo users to plant more mini-applications known as "widgets" on personalised versions of the home page, said Ash Patel, executive vice president of the company's audience product division.