Google Finance Disappoints

Update: I am going to be on CNBC’s On The Money show to discuss Google Finance @ 7pm EST/ 4pm PST along with Paul Kedrosky and David Vise.

The much awaited launch of Google Finance service finally happened – in beta of course. And in one word, it is simply disappointing. Its like watching Al Pacino in a stinker like Two for the money. Tony Montana was so long ago!

But back to Google Finance. After playing around with it for about 15 minutes, it is obvious that it will be a long time, and I mean long time in Internet years that is, before Google Finance really catches up to Yahoo Finance, which in fact is the gold standard. (Just by the virtue of lack of competitors, as it might be.)

My inner cynic says that the reason Google launched this service this quickly is because it wants to capture those high CPM/CPC dollars from stock and mortgage brokerages. Yahoo Finance is like an ATM for guys in Sunnyvale, and Google till recently had nothing to capture the “exuberant enthusiasm in the stock and real estate markets.”

I did a quick stock quote look-up on Apple, and found that most of the information of Google Finance Company Tearsheet was pretty much the same as Yahoo – except there was a section dedicated to blog entries related to Apple. That indeed is welcome news! And while, I applaud them for including the blog posts in the company tear sheets, I bemoan the lack of more timely and recent blog posts. After all when it comes to market data, two-hour-old information, might as well be dead bytes.

The other feature which I liked about the company tear-sheets is how stock charts, and certain news stories are tied together using AJAX Flash. Full marks to Google for making it easier to find and correlate news events with stock performance.

But that’s all. There is nothing else which even remotely impressed me. I totally disagree with Charlene Li of Forrester Research, who offers the most politically correct quote to San Jose Mercury News. “It is definitely an improvement…It’s not a mind-blowing improvement … which is actually an advantage. You already know how to use it.” John Battelle offers an equally benign reportage on what clearly is a me-too move. Paul Kedrosky is being kind when he clearly states, “All Whiz, No Bang.”

Given how entrenched Yahoo Finance is in people’s lives, Google cannot be incrementally better. A couple of ajax widgets will not make me switch from Yahoo Finance to Google Finance. Despite the beta-tag, I find Google Finance downright tiresome and plain ugly. Just like Al Pacino in …. Two for the Money.


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