My friend Megan emailed me this link the other day from ABC News called Yahoo Just Beats Out Google in Customer Satisfaction and then later I found the link to the actual study put out by ACSI. eMarketer also jumped on board with this chart which compared the trends over time. This study led Larry Freed President of Foresee Results to declare "Yahoo is emerging as the leading portal," he says. Hmmm, I always thought they were a portal.
I think the study itself is very interesting; interesting for a number of reasons.
- To me Yahoo has always been a portal, at least since it really ditched its mantra of being yet another hierarchical officious oracle or for you youngsters back when it was just a listing of links.
- Google on the other hand has always meant one thing which was search. Even looking at their homepages show the sharp difference between the two. I'm not saying that Google isn't trying to become a portal and your on ramp to the internet, but maybe for the most part it still means just search to people.
- Why would someone's satisfaction with Google go down? Are their search results not superior any more? Perhaps their biggest issue is not getting enough traffic on their other product extensions. I haven't seen an update from Hitwise in a while of traffic to other Google properties, but maybe they aren't getting enough downstream. How many people actually have their own iGoogle page? I do and its my home page today.
- Meanwhile Yahoo redesigned their website to make it even easier to get more information
From a media buying perspective they are both awesome. The Yahoo Search side can use a little push but I have had and continue to have a lot of great account executives from both of them. I'm not sure who is #1, but through the years I have worked with a lot of great people and even a few of them I'd call friends (Adrienne S, Richard K, Lisa G). One thing that is different between working with them is that:
- Google for all of their great account service is really a self-service model with account support. If you know what you are doing you can setup your own account, put in your credit card and off you go.
- Yahoo (not search) is largely an account service model where they supply you the rates and placements and then you have to agree to the buy. Other than their search platform it is NOT a self-service model.
Perhaps the media buying examples explains a lot of the customer satisfaction numbers. Google has a lot of great tools for consumers, but unless you know someone or read a blog you may never find out about what they have to offer besides search. Yahoo on the other hand pushes out the content to you, making sure that you are force fed the service. By definition, Yahoo should have better customer satisfaction - do you like table service or buffet service? Anyway, I love them both, but unless you submerge yourself into Google, you are probably missing some great tools.