Is Yahoo Getting its Buzz Back?

Last Updated Mar 18, 2008 8:02 PM EDT

buzz-logo.pngWhen Yahoo beta-launched its new Buzz feature recently, I was among its many skeptics.

There were already so many similar services -- Digg, Reddit, Newsvine, Newser, Helium, and another beta entry, Mixx-- that the market seemed more than saturated.

But, after only a few weeks in action, Yahoo's social media/bookmarking service is starting to look like a good move, after all. The key is the way in which Buzz deepens Yahoo's partnerships with small-to-medium sized online publishers.

(Buzz measures consumer votes and search patterns to identify hot stories from across the web, with the top-ranked stories receiving consideration for high editorial placement on, the most trafficked page on the Internet.)

Salon, for example, announced it had reached over one million unique users in a day on February 28th when Yahoo linked from its home page to Salon's highly buzzed technology blog, Machinist.

Other small publishers have benefited also, according to Michael Arrington at TechCrunch and Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb, among other bloggers.

  • The Smoking Gun received approximately 1 million additional page views over their average traffic, with over 275,000 visitors coming from the Yahoo! homepage. received over half a million referral visits from a Yahoo Buzz link.
  • HuffingtonPost received over 800,000 unique visitors from in one day.
  • Imaginova reported that and articles experienced big traffic spikes after they were featured and linked to directly from Yahoo's homepage for only 2 hours.
  • Sugar, Inc. sites logged nearly 1.8 million unique visitors sent from five different Buzz stories on the Yahoo home page
  • Even more mainstream sites are getting a boost when "buzzed."
  • US Magazine: Yahoo sent US a third of its traffic on February 27th, which was the second highest traffic day since its launch in June 2006.
  • Dallas Morning News' traffic spiked as a result of a Buzz link, making the featured story their most viewed single story on their news site that day.
Although it's still early, these initial results indicate Yahoo management may have found an effective new tool for leveraging its huge audience by involving readers to help generate its daily Buzz.
  • David Weir

    David Weir is a veteran journalist who has worked at Rolling Stone, California, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, SunDance, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, MyWire, 7x7, and the Center for Investigative Reporting, which he cofounded in 1977. He’s also been a content executive at KQED, Wired Digital,, and Excite@Home. David has published hundreds of articles and three books,including "Raising Hell: How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets Its Story," and has been teaching journalism for more than 20 years at U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Stanford.