Google is the company everyone loves to hate. The company’s size and power have made it frequent targets for anti-trust investigations at home and abroad. And recently, Google (and other search engines) were even singled out by Europe for a very interesting interpretation of freedom of speech. However, for all the huffing and puffing people seem to do about Google, they clearly can’t get enough of their favorite search engine. The findings from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index shows Google is still at the top of the game.
The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) measures consumer satisfaction across a broad range of business and product categories. Google is covered in the category “e-business,” which covers ‘internet portals and search engines’. The results are based on the responses of 70,000 consumers who were asked questions about consumer experiences with products and services. For e-businesses, the survey takes were asked to rank their satisfaction with things like site performance, freshness of content, eases of navigation and more.
For the seventh year in a row, Google has won the category with the highest customer satisfaction ratings. In fact, except for the year 2007, Google has won the e-business category every year, as one might expect from the world’s most popular search engine. Google’s score of 83 was a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year (though only a 3.8 percent increase from 2012). On the other hand, all of the other major search engines continued the declines they had suffered since 2012. Yahoo had the worst news. Though they barely beat AOL by a single point, Yahoo’s score of 71 is its lowest since ACSI began measuring customer satisfaction in 19945.
“The other search engines and portals fall well below Google for user satisfaction,” the study’s authors wrote. “The combined score for smaller niche-like search engines is up 10 percent to 77, but still lags the leader. Google’s larger competitors are even worse off. Bing falls 4 percent to 73 and ties MSN, which dips 1 percent. Meanwhile, Yahoo! drops 7 percent to 71, its lowest score yet. This is the third consecutive decline for Yahoo!, which outsourced much of its search engine to Microsoft’s Bing four years ago. In last place, AOL slips a further 1 percent to 70.”
An interesting takeaway from this report comes from the significant growth in the satisfaction among people using niche search engines. For example, did you know about the search engine Duck Duck Go that promises not to track user data and has a few other features that Google doesn’t? There are actually many alternative search engines, and though there is no real way for a business to take advantage of them individually yet, it’s something to keep an eye on.
Consumer satisfaction is something the search engine themselves should pay attention to. The study mentions that “companies that display high levels of customer satisfaction tend to have higher earnings and stock returns relative to competitors.” A finding echoed in a recent article on this site featuring eight reasons why customer service is so important.
While this particular report was a poor showing for Yahoo, there have been some highlights for the company in the past year. Read this article where we give seven reasons why Yahoo is still relevant for internet marketers.
And though the data seems to indicate there’s no reason to do so, there are several other recent articles on this site that show why Google is so important for marketers in every industry. Check out this article with 10 reasons why marketers should use Google+.