Interview: Yahoo! – Armando Rodriguez:“Personalization is at the Heart of the New Homepage”

Portada: Which are the main benefits consumers have with the new website?

Armando Rodriguez: “Yahoo! attracts millions of people everyday who want to see what is happening with the people and things that matter most to them. In response, we created the new Yahoo! en Español homepage which is completely customizable putting consumers back at the center of their web experience.

This new homepage makes it easier for users to get necessary around-the-clock information and stay connected to the people and personalized content that matter the most to them.

Consumers can easily add apps and customize their homepage experience – from Yahoo! en Español or any site on the Web in their language of choice. The same personalization that happens on the Web also ports across to their mobile device – personalized content and services follow the consumer wherever they go, regardless of device. Access to favorite content, services and experiences is now available in Spanish – across the US, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil (Portuguese); we’ll be extending the new homepage to additional Latin American countries later this year.”

Portada: Can you share user metrics from before and after the website launch?

Armando Rodriguez: “I can’t share actual metrics for the new homepage as it just launched. That said, Yahoo! continues to roll out newly designed homepages around the world, and have seen very positive results. I’m very confident that the site will successfully reach and engage Hispanic consumers in the US and across Latin America.”

Portada: We understand that you have also launched websites in several Latin American countries.

Armando Rodriguez: “We definitely want to be the center of Latinos lives online in the U.S. and throughout the world. The new Yahoo! en Español customizable homepage is currently available in the U.S., Mexico, Argentina and Brazil with more countries in Latin America to come this year. We will continue to roll out new homepages to additional countries around the world throughout the course of 2011.”

Portada: What features are shared within the Latin America and the USH, which ones not?

Armando Rodriguez: “Personalization is at the heart of the new homepage. People increasingly want deeply personalized and relevant experiences from the Web. Every day, Yahoo! provides millions of unique homepages – all tailored to the individual’s interests, with localized content and personalized services. As Latinos from the U.S. and Latin America are connected by culture and news, it is important for some of the relevant content to be shared and some localized for the specific country or audience. The design of the new homepage is universal providing users with their own “virtual assistant” which keeps them informed and their finger on the pulse of all things hip, current and highly relevant.”

Portada: Within Latin American websites which country homepages are more similar, which ones more different and why?

Armando Rodriguez: “We strive to make the new homepages personal and a practical resource for users to connect with daily enabling them to stay connected to the latest news from Latin America and the U.S. In order to do this we have dedicated pages in each market to specifically service the appropriate demographic with original and local content. From there, consumers can customize their experience, integrate their feeds, social networks, email, and much more to create an Internet experience that is truly theirs.”

Portada: Yahoo is making an important push in the production of local content (e.g. Associated Content acquisition).

Armando Rodriguez: “Yahoo! is a global technology company powering an amazing media business. Across our media properties, we partner with top content sources around the globe to deliver news, information, perspectives and entertainment that are world-class across the broadest spectrum of content categories.

In May we announced the acquisition of Associated Content, extending Yahoo!’s ability to provide high quality, personally relevant content. The acquisition reinforced the company's longstanding promise to offer the best of the Web — by combining Associated Content's approximately 380,000 contributors who provide rich and varied content on a broad array of passion points, with Yahoo's leadership in partnering with established content brands and the award-winning team of editors and experts from Yahoo!. We’re very excited about the potential and are looking to roll out the Associated Content concept globally.”

Portada: How does this strategy translate for Yahoo in the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets?

Armando Rodriguez: “We continue to re-imagine the possibilities of the Internet and build products like the Yahoo! en Español homepage around the people who use it and how they want to interact with the Web. We have conducted extraordinary amounts of user research to get this right. This makes the new homepage more personal and more fun than ever – meaning Hispanics have more access than ever before to their favorite content and services on their computer or their mobile device in their preferred language. This new launch represents the most significant change to the Yahoo! en Español homepage since the company’s inception.”

Portada: Can you explain where Yahoo’s editorial teams are based for the worldwide Spanish and Portuguese markets?

Armando Rodriguez: “Yahoo! has content partners, contributors and editors based around the world, providing 24/7 coverage from Yahoo!’s offices around the globe. Our main editorial teams and offices for Latin America are based in Miami, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and of course Sunnyvale California – the company’s headquarters.”

Portada: Is the new site designed to increase a particular type of advertisers (e.g. accommodate more online video, search etc…?)

Armando Rodriguez: “The new Yahoo! homepage provides advertisers with unparalleled opportunities to reach a highly engaged audience at the right time, with the right message. Yahoo! combines the science and art of getting the right message to the right consumers in quality context – all with a tremendous digital scale.

We offer advertisers precise targeting, deep consumer insights, and tools that leverage those insights in real time for optimized program performance. Creativity is another key element – we’re helping advertisers be as creative online as they are offline, developing lasting emotional engagement with our consumers.

We’re pioneering new ad formats and branded video content options that deliver results and positivity impact marketers’ businesses.”