Yahoo have since capitalised on this move through a smart programme of hiring, and luring in high profile names such as Ben Stiller, whose ‘webisodes’ will be created and broadcast exclusively on the Yahoo! site.
The search engine company have been making strides towards the ultimate goal of 20% original content since 2007, with the formation of Yahoo! Sports. In the development of this new dimension, Yahoo! brought in a series of editors and bloggers tasked with the job of writing original articles.
By moving into this arena, and by taking steps to evolve their business model from a search engine provider to a content provider, Yahoo! are now in direct competition with companies such as AOL and even the New York Times.
In fact, according to eBizMBA.com, Yahoo! News is the most popular news site in the USA with 70 million unique monthly visitors.
SEO experts QueryClick.com (http://uk.queryclick.com) commented on Yahoo’s ongoing mission, highlighting the importance of originally produced material:
“For Yahoo!, it is the difference between covering a news story, and breaking one. The benefits of self produced content are significant, insofar as they not only enable the site to move into the more lucrative arena of content generation, but also enhance the reputation of the site as an authoritative figure in journalism.”
In another move towards the 20% target, a new VP and Head of Originals and Video Programming has been hired by Yahoo!. Erin McPherson, a trained lawyer, will be responsible for the development and production of material, as well as brokering various content partnerships between Yahoo! and other content providers.
Perhaps the most high profile capture so far has been the signing of Ben Stiller to create a series of ‘webisodes’ for the site. The material will take the form of an online current affairs show, with Stiller and his parents discussing topics of the day.
This partnership with the Meet The Parents actor follows on from the success of David Beckham’s contribution to the site during the World Cup. Beckham, filling the role as Yahoo!’s first ever global sports ambassador, was en ever present face on the home page, offering his thoughts on the tournament.
Such signings have been praised by SEO experts QueryClick.com (http://uk.queryclick.com), who believe that such high profile assets will be crucial if Yahoo! are to both reach their 20% target, as well as draw in the traffic.
The search engine optimisation firm has also backed Yahoo!’s increased reliance on web analytics in its attempts to effectively tap into user trends and interests.