BIZARRE is the only way to describe the screenshot below of Google Finance’s homepage this morning — the day after the search giant reported earnings that missed analyst forecasts and sent its shares tumbling more than 7% in after-hours trading.
By all accounts, Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) earnings miss was big news. It is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s print edition, a major story in the New York Times, and it is the most talked-about topic at the technology news aggregator Techmeme.
But when I visited Google Finance’s homepage this morning, the biggest news story in techland was not mentioned at all.
If you click the image above you can access a large version of the screenshot on Flickr to see this for yourself.
You’ll notice that the main story is about Merrill Lynch and immediately below that is a story from CNNMoney.com headlined “Microsoft hit after earnings and forecast miss.“
And below that is a story from BusinessWeek titled “Investors Pummel Microsoft; IBM impresses.” But nothing about Google’s miss.
Perhaps most interesting is that when I went to BusinessWeek’s website myself, at the top of its homepage was this story headlined “Google: Weathering the Storm?” The story that Google Finance used was actually a secondary story. I took a screenshot of the BusinessWeek homepage at the same time.
So what is going on? I don’t know exactly, but it’s probably something to do with the timing of my visit and the peculiarities of Google’s news ranking algorithm. Just coincidence. Nothing untoward.
I hope that’s all it is, because it would be an even more bizarre story if someone at Google Finance has found a way to skew the front page against Google’s main rival Microsoft while keeping bad news about Google off the homepage.