The cutesy culture at Google might be coming to an end. The company is finally getting serious by dropping the don’t-blame-us-it’s-only-a-beta label on products that have been around for years. We thought apps like Gmail and Google Docs would be the first to lose the beta label because those are sold to enterprise customers. But Google Finance beat them to it. If you go to Google Finance today, you will see that it has quietly dropped the beta label.
It is about time too. Google Finance launched more than three years ago. By now, it is a fully baked finance site. But Google isn’t making a big deal about the fact that Finance is now a full-fledged product. In fact, it isn’t making a big deal about anything on Google Finance. The Google Finance blog hasn’t been updated since last March.
Maybe Google is keeping quiet about its finance site because, despite going at it for three years and driving traffic straight from Google’s search homepage (ticker symbols pull up stock charts from Google Finance), it hasn’t been able to make much inroads against the most popular stock site out there, Yahoo Finance. According to comScore, Google Finance attracted just 1.4 million unique U.S. visitors in April, compared to Yahoo finance’s 21.7 million. In other words, Yahoo Finance is 15.5 times bigger than Google Finance (see chart below). In the past year, Yahoo Finance added 2.2 million monthly unique users in the U.S. In other words, it added more people than Google Finance’s entire audience. The worldwide numbers show a similar disparity, with Yahoo Finance at 43.5 million uniques vs. 2.4 million for Google Finance.
I find both equally informative, but Yahoo Finance is still my default. Old habits die hard.
(Shout out to reader Michael Konen for spotting the change).