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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Thoughts On Google Finance

Financial wizards and chart aficianados around the world rejoiced Tuesday as Google launched a beta version of Google Finance, a Web site aggregating information about companies and mutual funds that features an interactive chart that correlates news and other events with stock price spikes and falls.

From a marketing prospective, Philipp Lenssen had an excellent point,"It’s interesting to see how many services are tied together in the new Google Finance. There’s Google News, Google SMS, Google Groups, Google Blog Search, and the Google Account. External sources include Nasdaq, AMEX and NYSE (ranging from real-time inclusion to delays of up to 20 minutes)."

So how does Google Financial compare with Yahoo? Asaf Buchner, a financial services analyst at JupiterResearch, said advanced features and an easy-to-use interface could help Google compete with rivals that have been around much longer.

That being said, the product out there today palls in comparison to what Yahoo Finance has been doing for years. Putting the Beta tag on newer offerings has always been Google's way of creating some leeway with usability issues, but shouldn't the product you put out be at least equal to it's main competitor?

For example, by redirecting daily stock checkers to Google Finance trogh the same channel that folks usually check Yahoo, Google is essentially using our daily habits to change our daily habits. This wouldn't be a huge mistake if the financial news were up to date. Unfortunately, the financial news stories on particular stocks are collected soley from Google News, often making them inconsequential. Like i said, if you can't do it at least as good as yahoo, why bother?

So what makes this instance of coattail-ridery any different from the numerous times Google has skipped down the paths blazened by Yahoo while merrily adding their personality and a few neat dohickeys?

To me, the stand outs are the easy references links(including a blog search) and the interactive chart/graph/whatever. Google Finance visitors can chart the daily ups and downs of a particular market just by scrolling over its name. Likewise, they can chart a stock's trajectory over one to five days, one to six months, or several years by dragging a slider, which also determines related news headlines that appear next to the charts. The inclusion of a blog search and feedback from Google groups gives added insight into why stocks are behaving in a given manner. As Yahoo Finance verion 2 promises interactive charts, the only difference between the two will be the addition of information on privately held companies and the links to pertinant blogs.

The increasingly seemless interaction between different Google applications is setting the stage for world domination and I, for one, would like to welcome our new Google overlords and offer any assistance they may need in rounding up resistance fighters.

Finance Portal FeatureGoogle Finance
Yahoo Finance Yahoo Finance V2
1.Static Image Stock Charts
2.Interactive Stock Charts
3.Related Press Releases
4.Blogs Mentioning Company
5.Message Boards
6.Advertising On Page
7.Data on Privately Held Companies
16.Community Groups2nd1st1st
17.Affiliate Program2nd1st1st
18.Backlink Based Algorithm1st2nd2nd
19.Public API1st2nd2nd
20.Google Answers1stN/AN/A
21.Blogging Application1st2nd2nd
22.Search Appliance1stN/AN/A
23.Proprietary OS1stN/AN/A
24.Social Networking1st2nd2nd
25.Blog SearchN/AN/AN/A
26.Financial Info

27Blog SearchN/AN/AN/A

By Brent Brandow at 10:03 AM | Comments (0)

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