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Yahoo Inc may be struggling to convince Wall Street of its future prospects, but for the first time its users gave its services overall a better rating than what Google Inc received, according to a study released on Tuesday.
Data from the University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showed Yahoo had seen its customer satisfaction score rise 3.9 percent from a year ago to 79 out of 100 points, while Google's rating fell about 3.7 percent to 78 points.
While Google remains the dominant Web search engine, Yahoo's Internet presence is gaining user approval for its network of Web sites, e-mail, social networks and other features, according to the survey.
U.S. User Satisfaction Survey Says Yahoo Better Than Google [uk.reuters.com]
To me, it sounded like...
Yahoo's Internet presence is gaining user approval for its network of Web sites, e-mail, social networks and other features
... that is, "according to the survey."
While not required for the critical eye, it doesn't hurt to point out that this wasn't a survey of (semi-)professional Internet experts & watchers (who have excellent knowledge of the strengths & weaknesses of the SEs' algorithms); this is a survey of Customer satisfaction of a couple of hundred companies in the Durable Goods, Manufacturing & E-business sectors. BIG difference.
Another way to interpret the results: You're looking through the eyes of the lowest common denominator.
The actual survey results are available here: ACSI Q2 2007 Scores [theacsi.org]
You've got to be kidding? This can't be based on their search technology...
I doubt the vast majority of average (non tech savvy) search engine users, can really tell the difference in quality of search from one search company to another.
They are judging their experience on a very different set of criteria than are most of the readers of WebmasterWorld
While Google clearly has the superior search technology to those that follow such matters, I would also wager a guess that a good % of Google's Average Joe search clientele comes from the fact that Google's name became a verb and also has become somewhat ubiquitous.
> Sounds like an apples-to-oranges comparison
Really? Both Google & Yahoo offer web/image/video/audio search, maps, email, video, shopping... Or are you discounting this survey (and therefore by extention, all survey work by the ACSI folk and all the Organizational Users of their Data Modelling Services) because they didn't ask Juan Q. Public who has the better SE algorithm, Yahoo or Google? Because they didn't ask which is better, a Philips #123 DVD player or a Sony #ABC DVD player? A BMW sports coupe or a Ford SUV?
What you want are product reviews (of which finding ones that put Google in a glowing light are no trouble) and not Customer Satisfaction surveys.
If Juan goes to Yahoo, does a search and finds what he wants, I would argue that Juan is satisfied. Sure, Google may have a better algorithm and may have offered better results, but that isn't going to change the fact that Juan was satisfied with Yahoo. Neither is the opinion that some of us hold, that Juan is an idiot just for using Yahoo.
Google is evolving from a one-trick pony into a dinosaur. Updates to their core product seem more to degrade than enhance. Innovations come across as a(nother) vehicle for pounding ads into our heads. Their homepage is an albatross.
For a company that has introduced so many new products and made so many changes, it may be surprising that its homepage has changed so little. It is almost the same as it was in the 1990s. Some users say it looks stale compared to Ask.com, which has a very different display of search results. Visual presentation may well be a factor behind the falling Google scores, as some users compare the look of Google to Ask.com.
- Professor Claes Fornell, in his commentary on the survey results [theacsi.org].
While Google's search functions remain strong, when it comes to the Web, customers look for marked improvements from year to year to say they are more satisfied, he said.
"For the average consumer, what you see with Google is what you saw three years ago," Freed told Reuters.
- From the linked article in the first post
> They are judging their experience on a very different set of criteria than are most of the readers of WebmasterWorld
And the critical thinkers shall arise from the morass of sycophants and knee-jerk reactors...
The critique in search as it self is starting to target and serve more of a numb queries, the every day thing if you will. I fire up Y! 4 weather in AM and PM. THAT IS IT, lately.
... And this is more proof that 'idiots' are everywhere. Who in their right mind would ever pick Yahoo over Google. Deep down, I don't think Tim Mayer would. :-)
Another way to interpret the results: You're looking through the eyes of the lowest common denominator...
And guess who and what 99% of the internet is aimed at....
Unless you are part of the elitest crowd, ignoring possible trends can be dangerous.
At least Yahoo and MSN search don't turn up near as many MFA sites.
"The Internet business data was compiled in the second quarter with at least 250 respondents for each company studied."
Finally, it appears that the survey wasn't based on a comparison between users' satisfaction with various services; it was limited to a single service in each case. This means that audience expectations played a bigger role than they would have in a side-by-side comparison. (Google's audience could easily be more critical and demanding than Yahoo's audience is, for example.) But for me, the big issue is the tiny sample size.