Aug 222007

Yahoo Edges Out Google in ACSI Customer Satisfaction Index

Yahoo squeaked ahead of Google in this year's American Consumer Satisfaction Index.

From Ars Technica:

Google no longer holds the gold metal in customer satisfaction—at least not according to the University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index. Instead, Yahoo has dethroned Google and taken first place. And while the difference in score may not be much between the two right now, the pattern over time for these companies and others is far more telling.

Yahoo scored a 79 (on a 100-point scale) this year, while Google scored 78: clearly, the two are neck-and-neck in consumer satisfaction. However, the ACSI report notes that Yahoo's jump into first place was a 4 percent increase over its score from last year, while Google saw a 4 percent decrease during the same time period.

The summary data, courtesy SearchEngineLand:

Greg Sterling asks the obvious question: does this metric matter? Emphasis mine:

The satisfaction data clearly don't correlate with search market share. I asked [Larry] Freed [of ForeSee Results who sponsored the research] in this context why people should care and pay attention to the ASCI. Freed was confident that "search market share reflects past behavior. But the ASCI is predictive of future consumer behavior." He said that historically it has been a very accurate gauge of future consumer behavior in other industries. He added that Google's decline was a second dip in a row after a smaller decline last year.

Freed believes that consumers were rating Yahoo overall and giving high marks to the home page redesign and the new mail beta client, among other positives. He argues that consumers want to see change and improvement and that Google has not kept pace with those expectations.

Hmmm. As a statistician, I'd really prefer to see error bars on all these numbers. Are a couple of points either way significant, or just noise? Assuming these differences are significant, I think actual search share -- both number of searches run and number of paid clicks sold -- is a more accurate measure of a search engine's relevance. People vote with their mouses.

In any event, congrats to Yahoo for topping Google, and to MSN and Ask for also showing satisfaction upticks.


One Response to "Yahoo Edges Out Google in ACSI Customer Satisfaction Index"
Dear researchers, I am very concerned about 2 incidents in which my gmail was breached, and locked up (=lost)permananently, apparently by others getting into the terminal/ server (?)/ inbox. I was just using gmail on a common laptop, and later, a desktop. This 'lockout' (total permanent loss of inbox) had already happened in 2003/4 on both Hotmail and Yahoo. I do NOT leave passwords lying around, or written anywhere. In the gmail cases, for sure I did NOT forget my password/s, and in the first episode (=attack), in MAy last year, my security question REOPENED the inbox. Several days later, it 'locked up' again, and my VALID security question had been invalidated. The box was permanently lost. The same process happened a few days later in May 08, with my backup gmail box. It's TOO suspicious! And with Yahoo/ Hotmail, it was also very suspicious, years ago. That's why I chose gmail later. I tried all the gmail recovery methods: no use! I am not only desperately keen to find out HOW/WHY such breaches can happen ,losing in May 08 almost 3 yrs of stored mail and very valuable adresses. Nobody can tell me at all. I went through EVERy way in the gmail enquiry system, and NO real person, NO answer, no tech help (except a bizarre listening test. It didn't work to recover the password), No explanations. It was NOT my carelessness on those occasions. The laptop in question was not mine and crashed not long after, but HOW did any 'bug' from there (if there was one) get INTO the gmail itself? I dont think it could. Within days, my backup box had crashed in the same way. My (third) new gmail inbox almost crashed in August 08 (see below). But gmail has NO [person, NO support dept for ordinary issues of this kind.... The third attempt that was made on my new inbox (this one) in Aug 08 was stopped just in time, in a VERY strange way... No comment here. GOOGLE says nothing! Nobody there! No name, no answer to regular email users. A totally one-sided, ZERO accountability, faceless and voiceless system. Is it a forewarning of the govermments we will have in the future? Have you heard such issues before? I sometimes search for tech or security info but I'm not savvy to understand it. Sincerely, ZN

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