Google Finance Launches & Japan Beats Cuba

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Google Finance Launches & Japan Beats Cuba

Spend a good 12 hours away from the Internet and you’ll find the world can change in the blink of an eye. Well, not the entire globe but perhaps the worlds of search engines and baseball. I just logged on to find that Japan has beat Cuba to take home the World Baseball Classic Title and that Google Finance has launched.

I’m sure that I can catch up with the Japan win tonight on television as I’d really like to see the footage of Japanese Manager and World’s home run champion; Oh Sadaharu (who manages the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks – Softbank owns Yahoo Japan) walking out on the field with Hank Aaron (there are 1,623 home runs between the two men). Like Japan winning the WBC, I can also say that I’m not a bit surprised that Google Finance has finally launched, being that Search Engine Journal broke the news on Google Finance when we saw their queries and pages sending test traffic in our referral logs.

So far Google Finance has gotten some less than spectacular reviews from around the net, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Just like the USA Baseball team stocked their rotation with 40 year olds, Google Finance offers the same standard tools we are used to seeing in Internet Finance channels : Charts, News and Discussions (via Google Groups) info.

Google News Integration

Google does however have some fresh blood in their Google Finance lineup with Google News stories integrated into the earnings chart accompanied by blog coverage. The Google News integration is quite useful as when looking into share value changes for GOOG we can see how reactive the stock is to Google publicity and media coverage.

We see that when the CNET “Google wins a court battle” coverage of a copyright suit went to press, the stock dipped almost 5 points. Then, Google stock began to recover after “Schmidt’s Google Sees China Internet Topping US” was printed by Forbes.

The Google News coverage integration does not only champion and hopefully bring potential monetization to the Google News service, but it also serves as a tangible and relevant timeline for those doing background information on peaks and dips in stock value.

Just like Google has done with Finance and its Nike partnered community, it would be nice to see Google tackle more niche targeted Google News spinoffs like Sports or Gossip – perfect for the personalized Google Home Pages.

Blog Posts in Google Finance

Besides giving Google News techs a sandbox for experimenting new ways to use the service in everyday financial coverage, Google Finance also acts as a new way to monitor relevant blogs about a stock.

Given the hot stove corner that Yahoo Finance has on the market, Om Malik says it best with this line “Given how entrenched Yahoo Finance is in people’s lives, Google cannot be incrementally better,“; Google does have a bit of a jump on Yahoo in the blog integration department. We all should know by now that blogs have the tendency to spread news (or lies) about stocks much quicker than traditional online news channels can muster and Google Finance should get kudos where kudos is due for their blog coverage integration.

Thus far the blogs listed seem to be authority, with Steve Rubel and the Google Blog being cited for GOOG oriented blog coverage, and Google Finance (BETA) also gives the options to check the references of the blog story, by tracking the blogs indexed in Google Blog Search (BETA) which link to the blog post that is enjoying prime coverage – like these links to the Google Blog Writely acquisition announcement.

Google may want to take a page from Technorati however and improve the authority of their References or atleast list English language blogs for those clicking over from the English language Google Finance.

Google Finance Search

Ouch, in my humble opinion I’d have to say that Google Finance strikes out with a Golden Sombrero with its search engine option. Sure, searching for company names or stock symbols brings relevant information.

But on the contrary to Yahoo Finance, Google Finance actually suggests that its users search for subjects for finding relevant stocks – and even uses a “I’m Feeling Lucky” style tool for taking the user to what Google feels is the most relevant stock to the search query. Well Google, you asked for it – here are the results of some obvious tests.

* Search Engine : General Electric Company (obviously Engine throws this off)

* Local Search : Microsoft (hmmm… what exactly are you saying GOOG?)

* Paid Search : Interchange (owners of & ePilot)

* Ethanol : Pacific Ethanol (ok, relevant)

* Contextual Advertising : (what?) – Blog Posts show a bunch of Spam Blogs including ‘healht spa uk’

* I did find some really cool results, like with the new Playstation 3 coming out if you decided to sink your money in Playstation oriented companies the results list Sony, Logitech, Electronic Arts and Midway Games.

* Likewise, a search for “DVD-R” lists Sony, Matsushita and Hitachi.

Rounding off the experiment, if your last name is Rose and you wanted to put your savings on the line by betting on the World Baseball Classic today and did a search for ‘World Baseball Classic‘ on Google Finance, the result is ATARI (none of these words are actually on the Atari, Inc. profile)- which was named after the term Atari (当たり) from the Japanese boardgame game of Go – now that is a relevant and accurate prediction!

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Sushubh

    faster and more accessible than yahoo finance. i love it. just that they need to make an indian stock market relevant finance section.

  • or

    It looks like their finance search is optimized for single keywords. Do any search with one word like “cars” and it returns relavant results. When you do two word or more phrases, it seems to pick one word to return results.

  • MikeM

    I noticed too they will have paid moderators on the stock discussion boards.
    Yahoo’s boards are a cesspool of hate and profanity due to there lack of moderation and lax TOS enforcement.
    I agree the blog additions are spammy.

  • Nitin Julka

    This is my review.
    Google Finance
    Those who know me know that I have been a particularly strong advocate of Google starting their own Finance page. Well, starting today, they finally have released Google Finance. Personally, I think that GMoney would have been a better name, but that is their call.

    One of my best friends works at Google, and I sent him the following e-mail outlining my thoughts on the product:

    1) There is no link to portfolio from the front page. The portfolio is “hidden” 2-3 clicks deep. This is a bad design feature. The portfolio, on the other hand, is very elegant and easy to use.

    2) The area to click on the letter on the flash charts is too small. You must click directly on the letter, when it is intuitive to click anywhere on the box. I repeatedly “miss” on my clicks and I am a pretty experienced computer user 😉 Please ask them to expand the area to click on the box.

    3) There is no logic after you click on a news event that is outside of the “shown” news items. It nicely scrolls down so that the event you clicked on is 2nd to last in the news items. Why did the coders decide 2nd to last? Why not the middle? Or why not keep it at the end?

    4) I really do not like how when the user moves to a 6 month view, and scrolls back a year or two, the user does not return to today when click on “1D.” This should automatically take you to the current day.

    5) The date range on the charts is NOT prominent enough.

    6) Before the market opens, I really don’t want to see a bunch of “N/A”‘s. Show me something meaningful or yesterday’s or take it out.

    7) You mentioned that a grandma should be able to use and understand everything. Why aren’t there links to describe what “BETA,” “P/E,” or “MKT CAP” are? Where do those numbers come from?

    8) Under the management section, I honestly cannot believe how much screen real estate GFinance is wasting on the FULL title of the management’s team. 85-90% of people only look at management to see how much they get paid. Yahoo! has it right in the front. That is truly the only thing people care about management. At least put it on the popup box.

    9) Finance people are going to hate the inability to download the financial information to CSV or XLS.

    10) Finance people are going to be confused with seeing Total Revenue and Gross Profit WITHOUT COGS.

    ** MAJOR BUG ** 11) For GOOG, the cash flow statements are backwards. On all the other financial pages, you show the quarterly info first, but for SCF, you show annual information the first. In addition, for the company financial box, the WRONG NUMBERS are appearing under quarterly. It is displaying the same numbers for quarterly and annual. I double-checked this for CRAI, and the problem is worse. The SAME NUMBERS are being shown for balance sheet and SCF under quarterly and annual. This needs to be fixed immediately! This can cause major problems for people.


    Bottom line: I see no advantage to using this product over yahoo finance. I see many disadvantages. No export for stock prices or balance sheet info.

    GFinance should have been AT LEAST as good as Y! finance plus more functionality and easier to use. Allow exporting multiple company’s balance sheet or stock info. Have links describing what numbers mean. Have links straight from financials to SEC statements. Integrate analyst estimates into a new section. Allow easy ways to compare company financials.

    This falls far short of what it could have been. I think it will be ridiculed in the press. Let’s wait and see for the rest of the day.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Wow Nitin, thank you for lending your review here at SEJ. I know we’re getting excellent placement today on the Google Finance channel (thanks Google) and hopefully some of the folks behind Google Fn will take your tips and experience into consideration.

    On another note, I love this quote from the Kelsey Group’s (and SEJ contributor) Greg Sterling on the Google Finance usage of Google News coverage:

    Tomorrow you’ll be able to go to Google Finance and see how all the coverage of Google Finance boosted the company’s share price. Neat, eh?

  • AJ

    I believe when Google releases a product, the public expects the best. I also believe if Google wants to uphold their reputation of producing great products, they are going to have to do a lot better then Google Finance. Google cannot continue making major release and keeping a “beta” tag on all thier sites. When the site goes complete public and will directly effect their stock price, Google should be a little less promiscious with their “beta” tag. I think the public expects competitive parity, or better from Google, and this is neither. Perhaps take a cue from others; only invite a select number of people to “beta” sites and then tweek/bugfix based on customer feedback? Goodluck with this site, but “Nitin Julka — 3/21/2006” comments hit the nail on the head. Not good enough; not Google enough.


  • josh

    Just a comment on Niton’s post,

    1, look again
    2, learn to click
    3, sure there is. if you click on A when you are seeing Z it puts it at the top and vice versa. and it highlights it. what more do you want?
    4. so if you go back to a peek 2 years ago and say “i wonder what the detail was for that day” it makes you scroll all the friggin way back? retard.
    5-8 agreed
    9-10, it’s beta.
    11. agreed

    I hate people saying “this stuff needs to get fixed fast, this product is crap” it’s not a product yet. it’s beta. that’s the point. get it right.

    and it is easy to use. it’s faster and has almost as many features as the competition. and it looks a hell of a lot cooler.

    it’ll be great. it’ll be google.