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Google forays into the ‘portal’ business: creates beta personalized homepage service.

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This article on CNET says that they’re opening a page similar to My Yahoo.

I suppose that Google will keep the clean white front page, and keep the ads as inconspicuous as they have been. That’s one of their biggest selling points.

I’ve tried out their new feature, and you can do the same at Google Labs. In it’s current form, I wouldn’t consider switching from My Yahoo. They won’t be able to complete unless RSS sources can be put in. Currently all that’s available is a limited selection of mainstream sources, plus a few of the most popular blogs.

One thing that I do like that Yahoo doesn’t have is that it has three colums that are all of equal size, and the objects that are in these columns can be dragged and dropped without reloading the page. It annoys me that in Yahoo you can only put certain objects in the sidebar; this has the effect of making the sidebar pretty much useless to me.

I don’t think that this approach will hurt Google too much. As long as they keep their calm, uncluttered veneer, they won’t lose anyone on the web-searches, which is what brings in most of their revenue now. Expanding services in other quarters is good for the company. I use Google News and GMail, but use Yahoo for groups and the personalized home page. I’m sure that Google would love to steal me and customers like me away entirely.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It’s paramount that Google not betray it’s identity and surrender to clutter. It’s wonderful for Google to do things for us, and often they do those things very well, but what we really want from Google is reliability.

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  • RJ

    I use Google for searches and news, and I use Yahoo for email and groups. (Gmail doesn’t impress me much.)

  • Being pretty much a Google Groupie thanks to my nerd bf, I was really excited by this release page. I think Yahoo is definitely too cluttered, and while Google has a long way to go with the homepage, they are on the right track. Since I use GMAil constantly and Google News just as much, it’s an awesome development.