Google Finance flops?
Years ago, Google’s statement of corporate philosophy told users that the search engine didn’t “do horoscopes, financial advice, or chat.” Well, one out of three ain’t bad. Google Finance’s launch, right on the heels of the Google Talk chat service, leaves only horoscopes for Google to conquer. And much of the blogosphere is panning the new financial service. Venture capitalist Paul Kedrosky calls it “all whiz, no bang.” Forrester Research analyst Charlene Li says users of sites like Yahoo Finance and MSN Money are unlikely to switch. And Business 2.0 senior writer Om Malik, in perhaps the most cutting critique, compares using Google Finance to “watching Al Pacino in a stinker like Two for the Money.” Maybe Google will have better luck with Google Horoscopes.
Er, that was from Business 2.0 magazine online at money.cnn.com. Frankly, I found Google Finance to be perfectly adequate, but not groundbreaking and that seems to be the sense of most of the reviews. The most novel feature is likely the company news and blog commentary integration plus the somewhat retro use of live human moderation of the financial discussion groups. And yes, it has AJAX interface elements. The real question will be whether it is “good enough” to draw an audience away from the established players.
Update 3/22: Burt Helm at BusinessWeek Online has a nice summary of what’s in it for Google and the competion it faces.