Bloggers Gaming Google Finance

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To gain added exposure for their stories, some bloggers have begun taking advantage of the way Google Finance incorporates content as part of a company’s information page.

Bloggers have found another way to increase awareness of issues they find relevant to a publicly traded firm’s operations. By including the ticker symbol for a company in a blog post, Google Finance may pick up that entry and display a portion of it in the Blog Posts section.

Former CNN Asia correspondent Rebecca MacKinnon discussed the issue of using Google Finance to spread the word about a company’s actions. Her post about Kathryn Cramer’s blog entry on Secure Computing, where Cramer included the company’s ticker symbol, noted how Google Finance picked up the post and placed it on Secure Computing’s page there.

MacKinnon likewise tried the experiment as well. An earlier post she wrote that excoriated Yahoo over its role in the sentencing of two Chinese journalists to prison terms now contains YHOO in its title.

(Interested persons can visit Amnesty International to learn more about the Shi Tao case and Yahoo’s connection.)

As legitimate bloggers begin using this tactic, so have spammers and PR types. Commenters on MacKinnon’s Google Finance post noted how this already happens. Dominic Jones provided screenshots of one example of spam showing up in blog posts for a company.

Jones suggested Google’s Blog Search “needs a ranking system for bloggers similar to Technorati’s.” From Technorati’s FAQ:

A Technorati Ranking relates to the number of sources that point to a particular weblog relative to other weblogs. The more sources referencing a weblog, the higher the Technorati ranking.

UPDATE! Blogger Seth Finkelstein has posted that the company’s name, not the ticker symbol, will help blogs rank higher for the Blog Post section in Google Finance.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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