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March 21, 2006



Type a stock ticker in and search it. You will get those "stock charts with embedded explanations of price-moving events." It's not on the landing pad, but it's on the individual ticker page in all its Flash glory. Very neat.

I found this blog entry through Google's stock ticker (GOOG). There's a "BLOG POST" section. Again, interesting.


That's the lamest 'finance' site I've ever seen. I actually did think my browser loaded the wrong page, which maybe it did. I have no idea why the above link would ever be used by anybody.

Still Inside

Unlike GMail, Google Maps, and um... GMail and Google Maps, this new Google product not only lacks originality and innovations, it is far inferior to all of the other offerings by folks like Yahoo, WSJ, Bloomberg and many, many others.

As a product, it's basically useless. It will almost certainly fail as a product unless they tell us, "just kidding, here's the real one" very soon.

This product failing amounts to a few million dollars down the drain (probably $40 million in the current the "what is a budget?" Google go-go days, but no matter).

There is something much bigger at stake here though. By creating and also-ran, me-too product that is almost undoubtedly going to fall on its face, GOOG is destroying what is currently the most critical part of their brand: the Google Mystique. The belief that they've hired the smartest people in the world and evertyhing they do is going to be super-human. That THIS is going to be the company that takes the annoyance out of everything you do on the web and makes everything perfect because of their super-brain-powers.

GFinance basically says, "yes, we're just another group of web page hackers, just like all of the rest of them". Where is the "secret sauce" here? GMail had the 1GB of storage thing, and the interface was slicker than anything else we'd seen. Google Maps were way cooler than anything out there too. Where is the magic in GFinance?

The negative effect this product has on GOOG will go far beyond the product itself flopping. It is the first step in them transforming one of the most killer brands that's come together in a decade.

Rather than citing the usual NSCP analogy to describe GOOG and their position vis a vie MSFT, today's news has another spector haunting them: pre-Steve Jobs AAPL. The spector of a one-hit-wonder company slowly slipping into mediocrity, churning out crappy products with the expectation that people will buy them "because they love Apple".

You don't have to throw your old computer away and learn a whole new system to switch away from GOOG. You just type in a new URL. Brand disintegration on the Internet happens in "Internet time".



While I agree that this will be a hard market for Google to break into - I think you've missed everything that makes this a worthwhile release. As noted in the previous comment: Use the thing - don't stop at the front page.

Google excels at presentation of data - and they nailed it with the stock history graph. I work at a financial institution, and to say this has causes a buzz would be a dramatic understatement. This kind of data is hard to manage, and the guys around here are already moving to google for quick answers, and they've been using it for 4 hours...

Jeremy Johnson

Google doesn't "get" finance. I mean come on they have a quote for the NYSE index on the front page. How irrelevent is that? There is some hope for the site, at least it's not one big ad like many, and it does have a nice presentation. They need to bring someone in that knows markets and knows finance to get the content right.


Did the writer of this article not look further than the front page? This is a great product and isn't a flop at all, many Yahoo users are now saying they will switch. The "super-human" capability of what Google's programmers have, has been brought to a user friendly level, why make finance MORE complicated. The features in this Financial program that Google has released far out weighs it's competition; some services it is offering is often paid content in other companies. The tie-in with Google Groups and other Google services make this product beyond what is viewed as a simple finance section, it helps bring it's less popular services to life. Besides many of you are looking at this in a total negative way, don't bash the product before you've taken it for a full on test drive. The whole concept of Google is basically a one stop shop for all things that are information...why would an average Google user switch over to Yahoo just to view finance, it's not going to happen, that would defy the whole concept...I used to use Yahoo finance because that's where Google pointed me...


As a participant in the finance industry, and a frequent user of Yahoo finance, I can say that I am ready to make the switch. Cool charts. Clear layout. Relevant information.

Tru Man

> many Yahoo users are now saying they will switch

Where exactly are they saying this ?

As other people pointed out this site is far inferior to other services. The fact that the majority of links on a stock page are *external* is alone enough to prevent people from switching from Yahoo. This is a good prototype .. perhaps a beta with a lot of usability quirks.


I very much have to disagree with part one of Henry's posting as well as the first few comments above. I am an analyst at a large I-bank and as you can imagine Yahoo Finance is a very valuable resource that we primarily use for quick, general reference. Well after using Google Finance for just a few minutes (and please, type in a company name and see where it takes you before concretizing your opinion on the site), my colleagues/friends that I have spoken with both here and at other firms are definitely switching over.

And here's why:
- Clean, simple interface that is extremely easy to navigate
- In general, all relevant info is right on the page in front of you (as opposed to on Yahoo where its on sub pages that you need to link to)
- Excellent combination of AJAX and Google's search tech for the really cool annotated historical stock price graph
- Direct links to tons of relevant additional information (ex. investor relations and other pages from the company, recent news stories, comparable companies, management details, etc.)
- Blog postings! This is a very interesting touch that connects the user to other simple users – absent the filter of big media. This personalizes the information available at your fingertips.

Even with all the great features available on Google Finance, the most unique differentiator between this site and Yahoo Finance is that Google’s site is merely a content AGGREGATOR (like Google News), and not a content PRODUCER. It is really in this capacity that the new finance site is right inline with everything else Google throws out to us users.

Now I am not saying this site is perfect – in fact, it still lacks some of the useful data breakouts that Yahoo provides – but it is an excellent first step, one that is clearly unique from, and an improvement over, Yahoo’s and other free offerings.

Jeremy Johnson

As a follow-up to my first note, I would say that I mostly agree with Ben. Again, the presentation is top caliber, as expected. The annotated graphs don't offend me, but are they really that useful? Maybe. They are certainly "cool".

Problem is, I expected far more. This is one small step forward in some ways and a few back in others. I imagine Google will at least bring other features up to par with the competition. But, will they make the site an order or two of magnitude better than the competition (other than a clean, usable interface)?

There is one fly in the ointment with respect to the interface. I imagine Yahoo makes good money on its finance pages. Can Coogle with this interface? There may be some challenges in this regard.

No matter what happens with Google, I see Yahoo maybe cleaning up its finance pages a bit in response. A win for consumers.


If you are looking for free information such as earnings call summaries, economic data charts,frequent global market updates and IPO reports, then I prefer to go to

Jim from Charlotte

It's obvious that a few of you just hate Google or are shorting the stock. This new finance site is far easiers to use than Yahoo or the dianosaur MSN Money site. Youe get real-time quotes and a graph with new items attached as they occured on the price graph. THis will save about 10 hours of research per month of graph analysis. This alone is better than the best pay sites such as E-Trade and Ameritrade. I agree that the site needs some tweeks, but just like all of the other Google products, it saves trendous time and provides the most current and pertinent data in a USABLE format! I'll be using the site quite a bit!


Posted by: Tru Man : "> many Yahoo users are now saying they will switch
Where exactly are they saying this ?"

Uhm, read the post above yours?

Neal Lachman

I like the history chart slider. But Yahoo's interface is smoother and has a better overview (clickable links).

Can anyone epxlain poor little me how Google is going to make (substantial) money from this?

Neal Lachman


It is not so much a matter of sleeping whatYahoo did. I think they were WAITING. It is always easier to take something and make it better, and get the original players suprised. It has been done with reverse engineering of technology ever since the japaners invented ... well... the japanese word for reverse engineering.

I agree with SI in his post on the top of this page. This is not a big deal, no matter how much I'd want the Google guys to be successful in these efforts. Let's watch the game.

Where is Sigma, he would have a terrific comment, I bet!


Sorry to be repetitive here, but I think there is a point we are overlooking that must be stressed again.

Google’s service is qualitatively different than Yahoo’s in so far as it is purely a content AGGREGATOR and not a content PRODUCER. This is a huge differentiator and speaks volumes to the philosophy and business approach of the two companies. What Google is attempting to do here is intuitively useful – there is a tremendous amount of info out there, but searching through and using it is a messy, cumbersome, and difficult exercise. Google is, once again, merely making the info that is already out there accessible and useable to the audience. There is not one piece of proprietary content on the site. I would imagine a further upgrade to this site will utilize their movable content blocks approach (see Google homepage, Google News, etc. where users customize the info and layout of the page to suit their unique needs).

As for monetization strategies, I believe the jury is still out… The obvious business model is to extend advertisements onto these pages, and they may just to that. Yet on the other hand, like with some of their other services (news, homepage, etc.), they have yet to show us how they plan to make money, and for that matter, even IF they plan on making money off of them. Remember, Google allows their employees to use 20% of their time to work on projects of interest (that’s a hell of a lot of innovative potential coming out of the company that might not always lead directly to core revenue growth). Regardless of whether all these projects are ultimately monetize-able just might not matter all that much to the Google guys. It would not shock me if their strategy is to let their talented employees create these services and then use them merely to attract more and more people into Google’s world – where they ultimately generate strong revenue though their superior search positioning.

Henry Blodget

I understand the distinction Ben's making between aggregation and production, but I'm not sure it matters much. Yahoo! Finance's content production is minimal but additive, and I doubt that most users even focus on who produces the content, let alone care.

According to Battelle, Google Finance will have human editors moderating chat forums, which is a step closer to production than the Yahoo! chat boards. And Google's careful selection and presentation of content was presumably designed and organized by human editors, so there is an element of "production" there, too. All of which is to say that I don't think it's a profound difference if Yahoo! pays Ben Stein, Jeremy Siegel, and Suze Orman to write a few columns and Google doesn't. (Although, all else being equal, I'd rather have the columns...)


What caught my eye was those graphs. The rest of it needs some work, but the graphs have that same "neato" look and feel that makes Google Maps so powerful.

I have a feeling that Google will pad the rest of the site with tons of content, then with ads to pay the bills. Yahoo! Finance should indeed watch out.


Just tried pulling up the press release for a company that reported after the bell. Looks like GOOG is delayed at least 20-25 minutes so far. That's disappointing.


"All of which is to say that I don't think it's a profound difference if Yahoo! pays Ben Stein, Jeremy Siegel, and Suze Orman to write a few columns and Google doesn't. (Although, all else being equal, I'd rather have the columns...)"

Well as I see it, those columns will be available through Google's services, since it is crawling all news sites etc. But Who cares about what analysts or Ben Stein say, this is a consumer driven market, and Google is giving them a voice. This is one of the problems with the market, traders are looking at analysts when they should be looking at consumers that use and love the product Google has set forth (that's what makes $$$ right?). Google is heading in the right direction, and I predict that there will be alot of changes in their Financial section, Google has never been one to sit on it's hands and not put forth something else innovative.

Neal Lachman

Wow, really. I like the extended info (when hovering with the mouse) on, for example, the executive team.

This is promising!

Good work Google guys. Now figure out a way to make money off of it.


It has happen, after desperate news about Mars goog delivered something substantial: goog finance. It is bad news for yahoo business, but I will keep loyalty just of convenience AS an USER (switching cost zero!) I still have puts on yhoo. It is bad news for goog:
1. They are unable to deliver something new in their core business model, they have chosen worst possible way of diworsification: to eat the same pizza on the others turf and three elephants YHOO, MSN and GOOG will start to break china in the shop. No way to charge for any premium content by anybody of them. No way to use advertising (only dumpiest posters from yhoo) can sustain it.
2. All latest moves maybe showing GRAND idea for expansion of business and business model at goog: we will take something from everybody substantial enough and will come to the great business: word processor from MSN and content business from YHOO. I can not remember any company who benefited from price war lately, customers (USERS) definitely but not companies, will goog be able to compete with everybody and deliver anticipated growth? I seriously doubt it.
3. The biggest problem of goog – they have too much money for their ability to invest wisely, all their latest moves are not for building core business (fight the click fraud) and market place but for distraction and heating competition in existing markets. Margins will be squeezed further: content business is not for free: you have to buy good content, you have to invest in content people and monetisation will not come overnight: all this means that all this additional expenses will eat from profits from core business now. Have analysts with BUY anticipated all of this: increasing CAPEX (not only funny things, but serious like storage cost), options expense and now content business start up cost?


Neal Lachman

Sufiy, I agree. It is two step forward, and at least one step back.

Kumar Chheda

@ndame: I am a yahoo user and I am saying this. I will switch!


This may not be a gmail-type launch, but there is absolutely no stickiness to getting stock information at Yahoo Finance. Where there is no cost to switching, there is very little reason why a slightly better service won't win share. Even if Google only succeeds in redirecting people who type tickers into the main search box, there is a firehose of traffic for them to monetize.

The real question is when they will use their analytical and presentation skills to mine the SEC Edgar database in all sorts of fascinating and revealing ways!

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