Google has enhanced its March-launched Google Finance website, making a number of changes designed to make the service more competitive.

Google improved the site's charts, which now can display up to 40 years of historical data for US stocks. Previously only five years of information was shown, a spokeswoman claimed.

The company also added a "top mover" module to the site's home page that spotlights companies with the biggest changes in stock price, market capitalization and trading volume, as well as those that have been searched for the most in Google's search engine, she said. Google also increased the ways to customize and organize portfolios, and made it possible to import portfolios from other websites, she added.

It remains to be seen how much these latest improvements will help boost the site's popularity. For the week ending 9 December, Google Finance ranked 31st in Hitwise's Stocks and Shares category of business and finance sites with a measly 0.48 per cent of visitors. Yahoo's Yahoo Finance ranked first with almost 24 per cent of all visits, while Microsoft's MSN Money nabbed a distant second place with 8.4 per cent.

Google Finance came in 23rd place in Hitwise's Business Information category with 0.70 per cent of all visits. Yahoo ranked first with almost 35 per cent of visits, while MSN Money was second with 12.4 per cent.