Google has finally launched Google Finance, its Yahoo Finance slayer. While it’s nice to see Yahoo Finance get some more competition, so far there is little here (yet) to cause a cross-service stampede.
GFinance’s graphing feature is its most distinctive aspect, with an interactive interface that borrows heavily from Google Maps to permit draggable graphs with continuously variable time scales. You can, on the fly, zoom in and out of periods, all the while having the graph be annotated with headline stories attached to the stock timeline. The latter feature is a little strange, but maybe I’ll get used to it.
The rest of the service — quotes, news, and the requisite portfolio manager — is serviceable, but fairly generic.
Overall then, GFinance is clean and nice, but it definitely leaves me wanting more. This feels more like a Macromedia product demo — long on whizz, short on bang — than a data-drenched Google product. Maybe I’m missing something, however, so feel free to let me know.
[Update] Interestingly, a ticker search in Google proper itself still sends you off to Yahoo for the company specifics.
[Update^2] It’s also interesting (if a little confusing) that a search for a non-ticker keyword in the GFinance search bar leads either to a list of companies containing that word, or to Google’s guess as to a list of companies representing that industry or product area. A search for “cars”, for example, gets you to a list of automakers and their tickers and share prices; a search for “search” gets you to a much more mixed up set, ranging from Google to Oracle. A search for “chips” however doesn’t bring up a list of semiconductor companies (or snack makers for that matter), but a list of companies with the word “chips” in their name.
[Update^3] Those crazy kids at Google. Where it doesn’t matter — over on Google News — they don’t run blogs alongside the professional media stuff. But where it does matter — in Google Finance — blog stories are right alongside major media outlets. I wonder what they’re planning to do keep the market manipulators away. Because I can just imagine the conversations:
“Alice, before coming down for dinner I saw a story on Google Finance that a small former mining company based in Vancouver is buying Google and Microsoft and Oracle — and the stock only trades for $0.18!”
“Oh, that’s interesting dear. Maybe we should buy some tomorrow after mall-walking.”
[Update^4] More here from Danny at Search Engine Watch (who is fairly positive), and here from Markoff at the New York Times, who divulges that Google employees (the poor bastards) are going to police the Google stock bulletin boards.