Last Thursday, Google launched a personalized homepage. Normally, I wouldn't think this is relevant news for this blog, but then I read an article over at the Motley Fool about the investment community's take on the launch.
First, for some background. For many years, Yahoo! has had the industry-leading portal (and still does, in almost everyone's opinion). With a Yahoo! account, you can customize a "My Yahoo!" screen with your favorite news items, personal finance information, etc. When Google launched their portal on Friday, they did so with a content offering that dims in comparison to Yahoo!.
So why would Google launch a portal that can't compete content-wise with Yahoo? The Fool contemplates that "the company is going to leverage personalization to sharpen its paid-search machine." In effect, Google is creating a content site so it can syndicate advertisers' ads in a targeted manner. Say you're reading news about a car company. Google might display ads about buying cars or getting car information beside the article.
It's a thought, at least, and while Google still hasn't got the content to compete with Google, they certainly have some brilliant minds that can figure out how to do it. Those of you with Google Adwords accounts, this is one development to watch.