OLD Media Moves

Critic: Google Finance close, but not there yet

December 12, 2006

Joe Lewis of WebProNews.com critiqued the changes to Google Finance that were unveiled Tuesday morning to better compete against market leader Yahoo Finance.

Joe LewisHe wrote, “Aesthetically, the improvements are a slam-dunk. Three quarters of the battle, when it comes to retaining user interest, is presenting a crisp, sleek looking product that is easy on the eyes. I believe Google has accomplished this with the new site layout.

“Functionality is improved, but still lacks some important detail. The blogger analysis above hit on a great point in that the pages for individual stocks haven’t received any attention whatsoever. Perhaps that plan is in the works, but for now it creates an odd sense of dysfunction when transitioning from the new look layout to the old look stock pages.

“The real question-du-jour, however, is whether or not the site can now compete with Yahoo! Finance. My gut answer isn’t a flat out ‘no way’- but falls more along the lines of not yet.

“The latest round of upgrades is a step in the right direction, to be sure. With continued focus on providing the utmost of detail to the user, Google could eventually give Yahoo! a run for its money (pardon the pun) when it comes to financial services.”

Why should business journalists care about financial Web sites? Let’s be honest. WIth the rollout of the new CNBC.com in the past week and now Google Finance upgrading itself, we’re not entering into the second stage of an expansion of financial news and information on the Internet. Those of us who don’t pay attention to this growing trend will be swallowed whole.

Business journalism has got to start thinking more seriously about what it wants to do with the Internet. To be sure, there are some places who are doing this. But I still see a lot of places — and people — in the industry that still want to believe that the Internet is a fad.

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