Google ( GOOG) launched a financial news site at finance.google.com , in a bid to lure users from one of Yahoo!'s ( YHOO) most popular features.

Google's new site allows users to find out information about companies, including stock prices, balance sheet data and details about management. There also are news stories, blog entries and moderated discussions boards. TheStreet.com ( TSCM), publisher of this Web site, is among the media companies providing data to the site.

Though rumors about Google Finance have been around for some time, investors will be closely watching its development to see if the site will help Google diversify its revenue base. That's an increasing concern this year, as the company's stock has dropped amid concerns about the maturing search market.

In addition, this will be a test of Google's skills at creating a user-friendly feature. The company was roundly criticized for releasing offerings not ready for prime time, such as Google Video, into beta testing. Google Finance is also officially in beta.

Taking on Yahoo! Finance won't be easy. It attracted 11.9 million unique visitors in February, up 10% from a year earlier, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. Microsoft's ( MSFT) MSN and Time Warner's ( TWX) CNN site also gained users.

Still, there is no denying that any move Google makes is going to have an impact. People are increasingly turning to the Web for their financial news. This has caused many newspapers to either cut back or eliminate the stock tables in their business sections.

Shares of Google fell 55 cents to $347.64 in premarket trading.