Yahoo Finance Gets a Makeover, Will Include Blogs

Jul.18.06 | About: Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO)

Eddy Elfenbein submits: Say goodbye to those unsightly wrinkles, Yahoo Finance is getting a makeover.

This seems to be a niche where Yahoo is clearly trouncing Google. Here's a shocking stat: During the last week of June, Yahoo Finance had 108 times more unique visitors than Google Finance. Of course, that's not an entirely fair comparison since Google Finance sucks.

So what are the changes?

Yahoo Inc. on Monday will unveil an upgraded version of its top-ranked financial information site that features new stock charting tools, improved investor chat rooms and financial video news.

In a bid to expand the audience for its investor tools, Yahoo Finance also plans to allow other Web sites to embed stock charts, quotes, and financial news headlines from Yahoo, free of charge, on other sites using a small amount of code.

That's not all. The new Yahoo Finance will offer something that Google Finance already offers--blogs!

Financial blogs will be added shortly as well, perhaps filtered by a third party. By offering a new reputation system that allows readers to rate the value of postings on its stock message boards, Yahoo has recently begun seeking to breathe life into the decade-old stock chat room phenomenon.

Investor message boards long ago degenerated into a mosh pit of harsh invective and uncorroborated rumor traded between bullish and bearish advocates of specific stocks.

Yes, I'm glad blogs are here to end that unpleasantness.

It seems as if Yahoo Finance is moving towards the model pioneered by David Jackson’s excellent Seeking Alpha. A few months ago, Joe Weisenthal of The Stalwart (and DealBreaker and Techdirt) said that Yahoo Finance might as well go all the way and buy a brokerage. I think he’s right.

If/When I become King of Yahoo Finance, these are the changes I’d make:

1. Get rid of the Motley Fool as a news provider. Or at least, make them provide real content. Look at “news stories” under a hot stock like Hansen Natural (HANS). Almost none of that is news. It’s mostly advertising for the Motley Fool’s paid content disguised as news. The frustrating part is that the Motley has excellent commentary.

2. Better charts. There’s a reason why I use Big Charts on my site. At a minimum, you should be able to use charts with customized dates. The “Rolling EPS” and “P/E Ratio” functions are also very good, although I think the EPS data at Big Charts is often a bit bizarre. (See this for an example).

3. Clean up the historical data. This probably isn’t Yahoo Finance’s fault but their data provider’s. There are several mistakes in the historical data for major indexes like the Dow and S&P 500.