(image credit) It may not be live for a bit, but I just got off the phone with the product manager for Google Finance. Today the site is finally launching. The UK sites already have the story. A few thoughts.
First, this marks a rolling shift at Google – the company is getting into publishing, whether or not it wants to admit it. The product manager, Katie Jacobs Stanton, admitted as much when we spoke – Google Finance will have a Groups section where stocks are discussed with paid moderators – that’s editors to you and me. And that’s a shift, a shift that is worth noting.
Second, Google is integrating its Finance section as the first link in its one box implementation, ahead of Yahoo and the others who previously got the free Google juice (see it in action HERE). Now the first results are going to…well…Google. That’s obviously the right thing to do for the business, but it brings up the question – is Google in the pure unadulterated we don’t mess with your results at all we’re totally objective search business, or….is it in the Yahoo business of being a content company? Think about that on for a second. (For more, read my book on this tension.)
I’m looking forward to checking the site out. Katie – who is clearly proud of her work in an infectious way – said she’s adding blogging voices, and interactive, news driven charting, and other neat features. “We’re up to par,” with the other services, she added. (Interestingly, Katie worked at Yahoo Finance, then took time to be with her kids, then went to Google.)
Apparently this started as a 20% project in Google’s Bangalore office, after Google consumer testing showed that the product was wanted by Google users.
Well, OK then. I recall a fellow by the name of Jerry Yang and another by the name of Tim Koogle telling me that when they wanted to start a new publishing venture at Yahoo, they would watch what the users did after searching. Where the tracks were deepest – finance, sports, travel – they built a new section of the ….uh oh, here it comes…the PORTAL.
As Danny pointed out last week, this page (see #2) is getting really outta date. Not that I won’t be looking forward to using Google Finance to track my non existent shares of GOOG, which, as you might recall, have been in the dog house of late. I had dinner with a Google analyst tonight in fact. Her price target is mid 400s. Can’t a brother spare a good analyst a hundred points or so? One way or another, you’ll see the stock move right here, at Google Finance.