Part of keeping an intranet homepage clean and functional is ensuring that information overload doesn’t occur. Aggregating widgets can help you group different types of news, notifications, and event warnings in one part of the homepage, saving valuable real estate for something else.
The corollary to this is to have a great way to search of content on your portal. Take a look at Texas.gov. They have adopted the google home page. The ultimate in simplicity and Search.