Google Finance - Lower Than Expected Results

December 13th, 2006 | Categories: launch, strategy

Next time you need a Google stock quote, use Yahoo Finance. The second iteration of Google’s much hyped finance portal is nothing to cry home about.

The portal debuted yesterday. Buzz around the blogosphere verified exactly what I had already concluded - this offering cannot and will not be able to compete against Yahoo Finance. It just doesn’t have that X-factor that other Google products manifest.

In phase one, the company flaunted their interactive Flash charts and blog integration, but to no avail. Phase two simply provided a more comprehensive feature set, but nothing overly revolutionary or ground-breaking like we come to expect from Google. Finance is one of the few areas where Yahoo is kicking Google’s ass. Badly.

So what did Google do wrong and what is it going to take to compete (or beat) Yahoo?

Well… let’s take a step back and look at previous successful Google product launches. Gmail, for one, offered a ridiculous amount of storage that Yahoo and MSN had to match (on some scale). This created an enormous amount of PR and buzz, which catapulted account creation into the stratosphere.

These wacky, crazy, out-of-the-box PR marketing tactics and antics are what Google has come to be known for. So why try to re-invent the wheel? 

I began to think… long… and hard… until my brain hurt. I wondered, “What if Google offered something spectacular - a specific feature (similar to the 2GB storage) for free in their finance offering?” My conclusion was that FREE, real-time stock quotes may be the ticket. An exceptional offering like that would stimulate discussion and spread the word. Rather than spend money on marketing, let the product sell itself ala Purple Cow. The PR and buzz alone would generate consider traffic and exposure.

This strategy has already worked in the past. People expect big things from this heavy-hitter. Why not crank another one out of the park?


  1. Owen Says:

    Perhaps the problem is that Google, who has a reputation of always exceeding expectations, has trapped itself. To build a tool that is way ahead of your competition is no small task. To consistently do it, is harder still. Add to that big business mentality of cautious compromised decision-making, and it may be down right impossible. Lets hope Google keeps taking risks.

  2. Aidan Says:


    I agree with your first few points. However, I’m not sure that it’s fair to say that Google has a ‘big business mentality of cautious compromised decision-making’. The company is known for taking big risks and eccentric decision-making. This known fact provides some flexibility and wiggle room with respect to shareholders and stakeholders. Departing from this free-thinking mentality to a more traditional model could prove to be a very costly move.


  3. Anthony Says:

    I agree with Aiden in the sense that Google has made some pretty risky desicions. Im sure Google Finance will improve but in the meantime Yahoo is still #1 on the finance scene

Leave a Comment