Yahoo’s problems now include declining traffic, but its front page still attracts an astonishing number of eyeballs. That’s why it was able to immediately turn brand-new gossip site OMG! into a contender this summer: Yahoo launched the site in June, and by the end of August it was already pulling in more than 4 million monthly uniques — more than E! Online and Time Warner’s TMZ.com, says Compete.
Importantly, Compete’s analysis shows that OMG’s success is not about OMG, but about the power of Yahoo’s front page. OMG’s users are not die-hard gossip site fans: They’re regular folks who pretend not to be gripped by the latest Lindsey and Britney headlines (but click them frantically whenever they see them). OMG’s “engagement” (minutes) per user is far below that of TMZ, et al, and when Yahoo removed OMG from its front page, traffic stumbled. So this reinforces two points: 1) Yahoo’s front page is still extremely valuable real estate, and 2) If OMG wants to continue to trump the gossip competition it is going to have to build a more loyal direct following (or secure a permanent position on yahoo.com)