Reuters reports on a University of Michigan study suggesting that Yahoo is slightly more satisfying than Google:
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.
The positive perception of Yahoo stems from a relaunch of the main site and its various offshoots which are now gaining ground, said Larry Freed, chief executive of ForeSee Results, which sponsored the ACSI report.
“People have gotten comfortable with the (Yahoo) interface,” he said. “They’ve also done a good job in continuing to be dominant in communities and sub-functions of the portal. That’s always been Yahoo’s strength.”
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.
While Google has developed its own e-mail, desktop office and chat applications, among other features, they have not drawn enough attention to them among regular users, he said.
“Google needs to figure out a way to take advantage of those great applications they’ve developed,” Freed said. “Not necessarily through advertising, but better marketing.”
The article goes on to discuss how Ask.com fares among search rivals. Still, I would’ve liked to see numbers on “shareholder satisfaction” — and even that might improve with better marketing.