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March 21, 2006

Launches, Updates and Rumors: Just another day at the Goog

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It’s not fair. I was up-to-date on my Google news when I left work yesterday afternoon and I come in today and everything has changed again. How is a girl supposed to keep up with a search engine that never sleeps? Here’s what you need to know to get you through Tuesday.

While you weren’t paying attention, Google launched a beta version of Google Finance. The financial portal offers stock or mutual fund quotes, related news stories, message boards, company information, interactive Flash charts and blog postings.

Key Google Finance features include:

  • Search – This could be this beta’s claim to fame. Past finance sites require users to know the company’s stock symbol, while Google Finance allows users to simply search by company name. No more feeling inadequate when you can’t remember your company’s symbol. Most excellent.
  • Related News – Google Finance provides users with relevant, up-to-date news stories that correspond with what their stocks and companies are doing that day. Now stock enthusiasts can see not only how their stock is doing, but perhaps use the day’s news to put it into context.
  • Charts – Charts can be created to show the volume of news stories for a particulate company, as well as give key financial statistics. Taking a cue from Google Maps, users can drag and zoom in on chart information to get expansive details.
  • Message Boards – Every publicly traded company will now include a message board that is a part of Google Groups. Google employees will monitor the boards to prevent inappropriate or spammy comments.

At first glance, Google Finance looks like a step up from the competition. Charlene Li disagrees, stating stock users will likely be resistant to change as change means having to re-enter all their detailed portfolio information. We’ll have to see if a better search and fancy charts are enough incentive for people to make the switch.

Improved AdWords Keyword Tool: Google has revamped their AdWords Keyword Tool to allow advertisers to view global trends and traffic histories for their keywords, as well as monitor traffic fluctuations for a twelve month period, according to WebProNews. Results are displayed in graph form. Complete details can be found on the AdWords site.

Google Health? Rumors are everywhere as Search Engine Watch points to a speaker list found at PC Forums that lists ‘Adam Bosworth, Architect, Google Health’ among those expected to appear. The question on everyone’s minds: What in the world is Google Health? And why does it need an ‘architect’? We don’t know but it looks like Google may be up to something. We’ll keep you posted.

Google Page Creator update: And while you’ve got Google on the brain you may want to check out the Google Blogoscope where Philipp Lenssen has a fun entry about how people are using the month-old Google Page Creator tool. Lenssen highlights a small collection of pages on boobs, diamonds, spam and more boobs. Geez, give a man an outlet…





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