Yahoo! Finance versus Google Finance: Which should you use?

The internet has revolutionized many industries, but the  financial services field is one that has been most profoundly affected. By going online,  millions of investors are able to analyze markets on their own, which has served to disintermediate them from brokers and professional money managers

Both Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) and Google Inc. (GOOG) operate popular financial websites that provide stock quotes, financial market news and general business news. Let's compare the two.

The Similarities

Yahoo! Finance rolled out shortly after Yahoo!'s debut in 1994. Google Finance launched in 2006, eight years after its parent began in 1998. Yahoo! bills its Finance portal as its industry-leading business and financial news product, and the service has evolved from its desktop origins to utilize mobile and tablet apps. Yahoo! Finance has a stated mission to help users make informed decisions regarding investments and financial markets. It provides financial data and a wide array of applications to help users obtain detailed and current market information. (We can show you more in "How to Use the Top Yahoo! Finance Tools.")

Both sites consistently rank among the top 15 most popular personal finance websites and are quite similar in the financial information they provide.

The Differences

Both sites are popular, but Yahoo! Finance is nearly twice as popular as Google Finance. The July 2017 Statista estimates put Yahoo! Finance at an estimated 70 million unique visitors each month, while Google Finance is well behind at 40 million. This puts Yahoo! Finance in pole position while Google Finance is number four behind MSN Money (65 million unique monthly visitors) and CNN Money (50 million).

Perusing both websites, it seems clear that Yahoo! Finance has a better look, feel and much more content. Comparing each parent company's 10-K filing reveals that Yahoo! devotes much more time and description to its Finance channel. In stark contrast, Google only mentions Google Finance once by name, calling it a Google-owned site that helps drive advertising revenue.

Google Finance does have loyal followers, however. Some market participants appreciate that it emphasizes stock-charting capabilities, which is not a strength of Yahoo! Finance. Google also appears to offer more comprehensive real-time stock market quotes, though Yahoo! does offer some real-time capabilities. Some blogs have criticized Google for inaccurate market information. However, Yahoo! has had its fair share of alleged data errors, too, although none are seen as major; the vast majority of information appears to be accurate and timely. 

The Bottom Line

Both Yahoo! Finance and Google Finance are great at offering overall financial market information, stock quotes and investment data, but it appears that the nearly 10-year lead that Yahoo! Finance has over Google Finance shows; the site has more robust data and content capabilities and displays it in a much more appealing and efficient manner.

Note: At the time of writing, Ryan C. Fuhrmann did not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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