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Google Finance Struggles With Market Share

By:
2006-12-20

Hitwise has some recent numbers on Google Finance, showing how tough it has been for Finance to gain traction.

Link: Hitwise has some recent numbers

Currently, Finance holds just .78% of the market share in the finance category (yes, .78%, as in three quarters of a single percent), fifty times less than Yahoo's 37.3%. Hitwise's post offers a possible explanation: Google Finance gets 57% of its traffic from Google Search, while Yahoo Finance gets 1.7% of its traffic from Yahoo Search (and 55% from Yahoo.com and MyYahoo).

This could imply a crucial error in the Google growth model, that search engines just don't drive traffic to other properties. Yahoo and Google push almost the same amount of traffic from its search to its finance as Google does, but has other properties doing the bulk of the promotion, since the search engine just doesn't do it.

The theory has to be that search engine users already know what they're looking for, and as much as they trust the Google brand, they aren't going to click on Google Finance just because it's there. Searchers look at all the search results, and when you weigh Google Finance against Forbes, NASDAQ.com, MarketWatch, BusinessWeek, USA Today, and even Yahoo Finance, all of which appear in the top results for searches that promote Google Finance, Google doesn't have the strongest brand.

Google doesn't have a portal, and despite its attempts, hasn't created anything as effective as one. Google's main promotional efforts are from trying to promote properties through its search engine. That, clearly, is failing, as the only successful Google products are the search engine, older innovative search-related properties (Images, News) and properties with buzz (Gmail, Maps). Everything else relies on Google Search, and that just doesn't work.

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