Google is introducing a way for users to create personalized Web pages with customized news, stock prices, weather, and other information.

The move brings Google closer to competing more directly with Yahoo and other Web portal sites.

The new service, to be released in a test version — at — will display information from different Google services, such as weather reports and the user’s Gmail e-mail messages, on a single Web page.

The new service is similar to Yahoo’s “My Yahoo,” “My MSN” from Microsoft , and other rival offerings.

Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt has said the company is focused on search and is not a Web “portal.” A Web portal is a site which offers a range of personalized services on one page.

But the new service takes Google further from a simple search engine and closer to becoming a portal.

It also allows the Internet search engine to encourage users to spend more time with its different services and to expose them to more advertising.

More here.