Yahoo grounds the 'hover' on its home page

A rollover-activated pop-up window within Yahoo's home page redesign from last year covered up too many prominent ads on its actual home page, and that can't be.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
Tom Krazit writes about the ever-expanding world of Google, as the most prominent company on the Internet defends its search juggernaut while expanding into nearly anything it thinks possible. He has previously written about Apple, the traditional PC industry, and chip companies. E-mail Tom.
Tom Krazit
2 min read
The Facebook page hovering over the home page ads on Yahoo.com will no longer pop up automatically. Yahoo

Yahoo is making a major tweak to the major home page redesign it rolled out last fall: it's dumping the automatic hover.

CEO Carol Bartz announced the change during the company's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, responding to a question from a financial analyst about how the new home page has helped Yahoo increase traffic. Traffic has gone up, she said, but so has the blood pressure of Yahoo users and advertisers.

One of the signature features of Yahoo's home page redesign from last year was the addition of a "hover," which generated a new window overlaying the Yahoo.com page when visitors rolled their mouse over one of the category links on the left-hand side of the home page, such as Yahoo Mail or Facebook. That window allowed users to see status updates or subject lines of e-mail, and allowed some limited interaction before heading off to the other site.

You can still see the hovering pages, but you'll have to force them to appear. Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET

And now it's gone. "It just so happened there were enough people we were driving crazy and enough advertisers we were driving crazy because we were covering their ads," Bartz said. The hover blocked out two prominent ads on Yahoo's home page underneath the news stories and the trending topics.

Users can still see that overlay that used to be generated by the hover. Rolling a mouse pointer over the links on the left-hand side now prompts the user to "Open Quicklink," requiring a deliberate action to bring up that window.

Home page redesigns for Web companies as massive as Yahoo can be painful for users, as any Facebook designer is probably well aware: you're going to make somebody mad. But this particular feature was one trumpeted by Yahoo at the time it was revealed for allowing advertisers to put targeted ads next to specific applications, like Autos or Finance. Looks like the major brand advertisers on the home page won out, but they also struck a blow for anybody who hates automatic rollover pop-ups.