Monday, March 20, 2006

Google Finance and personalization

John Battelle reports on the launch of Google Finance, a stock and mutual fund information website with many of the features of Yahoo Finance.

I noticed that, in addition to the normal My Yahoo-like customization feature of being able to list a portfolio of stocks and funds, Google Finance appears to have a few nifty personalization features.

The stock quotes page (e.g. AMZN) has a section with "related companies", recommendations of other stocks that might be of interest. It is also interesting to note that both blog and mainstream news stories about a stock are included on this page.

The main page,, the page appears to change and adapt based on your history of viewing stock quotes. Specifically, any recent stock quotes you have done is listed prominently on this page, as well as a combined list of top news headlines for those stocks. Neat-o.

I have used My Yahoo and Yahoo Finance for several years. I have long wondered why they never have done implicit personalization. Looks like, once again, Yahoo has waited long enough that Google beat them to it.

Update: More on Google Finance from Matt Marshall and Danny Sullivan.

Update: AC Narendran and Katie Stanton have the post on the official Google Blog. They call it an "early-stage beta product."

Update: Reaction to Google Finance seems to be ranging from lukewarm to negative. Om Malik says, "Google Finance needs some muscle." Paul Kedrosky says, "All whiz, no bang."

Expectations are high. Google's "early beta product" doesn't have the wow yet.

Update: Jeremy Zawodny expresses frustration at the stagnant state of Yahoo Finance. Worth reading his thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Yea, it was also a little creepy. I logged out when I noticed the personalization and to may surprise after refreshing the page it was still optimized to the previos companies I viewed.

Anonymous said...

Greg, again, tell me to lay off if I'm becoming too much of a blog troll. But I really don't see how keeping one's history in the display is really "implicit personalization". It is just showing you your most recently viewed items, ala Amazon.

Implicit personalization, on the other hand, is all about mining your most recently viewed items for patterns, and using those pattern to to show you things you haven't seen before. Yes?

Is this what Google's actually doing?

Anonymous said...

I now expect to see the top visited sites at MSN, AOL, CNN, Yahoo etc to get duplicated by Google sooner or later. I had hoped that Google would not go the product portfolio matching path and continue to do innovative stuff as it did with PageRank. So much for Google's talk about innovation and the premium paid by investors for it. My disappointment on this issue continues here

Greg Linden said...

Hi, Jeremy. It is fine that you are a dissenting voice on this blog. I usually don't respond to your comments, preferring to let others consider them without my interference, but don't take that as annoyance.

One thing though. If you are going to continue commenting with this frequency, you might consider signing in and using your full name. Transparency is a good thing.

On implicit personalization, you have a good point that recently viewed items and news articles for those items is fairly trivial. Even so, it is a step further than we have seen at other finance sites toward implicit personalization.

Jeff said...

Yahoo! Finance has had a recent stocks module on its front page for oh, about 5 years now. Is this innovative?

This seems more like Google filling a hole in their product suites than really trying to change the game.