Google Opens Up Finance Section

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Today, Google has revealed their new Google Finance section, focusing on North American stocks, mutual funds, and company info. Like Yahoo Finance, the front page of Google Finance also includes related financial news and graphs of the major indexes for that day. The main page is uncluttered, with focus on the search box. Searching for a company brings up company info, related stock info, related news, blog posts, Google Group discussions, and an interactive Flash-based graph of the company’s financial activity. Searches for privately held companies bring up the same information, minus the stock info. You can also search for mutual funds.

“It all started as a small project led by a few engineers in Bangalore and later joined by more engineers and finance enthusiasts in Mountain View and New York…” according to the Official Google Blog. The post continues, “…But we shared the same goal: to improve the search experience for financial information… you no longer have to remember a ticker or mutual fund symbol. Just search for a company or mutual fund by name and you’ll quickly see all the relevant information… interactive charts that enable you to zoom through different time periods, headlines mapped right on the charts and are based on Google News… you’ll get insightful comments from bloggers about public and private companies, plus Discussion Groups moderated by enthusiastic community advocates.”

The current top player in the Finance arena is Yahoo Finance, which had a unique audience of about 12 million in February ’06, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. MSN Money came in second with about 11 million.

Like everything Google, Google Finance is still considered to be in beta.

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