Is Google trying to be Yahoo and MSN?

May 21, 2005 – 6:30 pm

Google has introduced a new portal service that makes it much more like Yahoo and MSN. Go to http://www.google.com/ig to try it out.

Is it worth it? They still have some work to do to make it as useful as Yahoo and MSN and there are a few glitches, but overall it is great. In true Google fashion, the page looks and feels a lot cleaner and loads a lot faster than its rivals.

What’s missing? First of all the most important thing that is missing is actually a good thing – there are no dancing bananas or other distracting, flashing graphics and no popup annoyances. On the negative side, I’ve grown to really like Yahoo’s RSS feature that lets me add my own RSS feeds, I’d like to see this feature added to the Google portal. The Stock market ticker will show you delayed quotes of a custom list of stocks but does not allow you to actually track a portfolio like Yahoo and MSN do. If you actually want any level of detail you end up in a frame that lets you look on Yahoo Finance, Fool.com, MSN MoneyCentral or ClearStation to get it.

What are the glitches? When I look at stock detail and then click the Google logo I’m back at the old, uncustomized Google home page instead of mine. When I click on Go to Google News I end up on an generic Google News page, even though I’ve customized my news, it takes a few extra clicks to get to my personalized Google News page and then it is difficult to get back to my customized portal page.

I’m sure that these glitches will be fixed soon, and I hope that they add RSS. As long as they keep their clean look and keep improving they might take over the portal traffic next.

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