Late Wednesday, AOL.com continued its remodeling binge — this time for its high-ranking Money & Finance site, hoping that a major remake will keep its current users engaged and finally will gain some attention in this increasingly competitive space. It has struggled against the always-open Yahoo Finance, which has been going through its own overhaul, from MSN Money — and from the hype surrounding Google Finance.
The new page echoes the changes already made at AOL Sports and AOL News, a switch to blog-style news posts and an emphasis on interactivity. Marty Moe, SVP-Money & Finance, went over the changes and the rationale with me Wednesday evening. He wouldn’t quantify the investment in dollar terms, saying only, “This is a huge, huge deal, a huge, huge effort of sustained proportion to lead in finance. … The spoils will go to the property that is going to have the most dedicated sustained and focused investment.”
Target: Current users are the first target…as for growing share, “we think the upside is so tremendous once we start getting the attention of people.” But Moe knows AOL could have a tough time with the latter. Attention is only part of the game, especially when habits are entrenched. “If you want to peel people off, you have to launch something better enough to make them take a second look to change those.”
Portfolios: Moe says that importing and exporting of portfolios is on the roadmap as is something they call “public portfolios” that can be shared, subscribed to, made publicly available.
Blogging/Vlogging: Moe’s portfolio includes AOL’s blogging properties Blogging Stocks and Weblogs. More finance blogs are coming and they’re getting into video. “Vlogging stocks is going to be an integral part of blogging stocks going forward.”
By the numbers: For a sense of how tight it is at the top, according to ComScore Media Metrix, in June, MSN Money had 10.9 million uniques while Yahoo had 10.7 million and AOL was less than 100,000 away from Yahoo. The next nearest competitor was Forbes, with 6.4 million. Yahoo led in pageviews with AOL a close second. AOL led Yahoo in visits.