The University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index has rated Yahoo! as the top search engine based upon customer satisfaction. This is the first time Yahoo has ranked above Google in the survey, with scoring a 79 out of 100 (up 4% over last year).
Google scored a 78 (down 3.7%).
Ask.com scored a 75.
MSN scored a 75.
AOL scored a 67.
The study looks at factors including search, news and informational content.
What could have influenced the rise in customer satisfaction with Yahoo (opinion)?
* Implementation of targeted Yahoo Shortcuts
* Serving Yahoo Answers in Selected Results
* Consolidation of various services into one package (Yahoo Photos/Flickr)
* Cutting back on fluffy Weather or News shortcuts where they are not needed
* Better ad targeting via Yahoo Search Marketing Panama
* Better Image Search with live Flickr photos
Why may have customer satisfaction at Google fallen (opinion)?
* Confusing Google Universal Results inserting video & news into content
* Changing of AdWords Background Colors
* Outdated homepage
* Personalized search results
* Dropping of Froogle
Any of these could be factors in influencing the user experience. We’ve seen Ask.com perform a major user experience turn around over the past 5 years (up 21% in scoring), but Ask’s challenge is still gaining usage and marketshare.
Yahoo has the usage, memberbase and enough share to make a huge difference in terms of positively influencing and winning over its users with a better search experience; and these survey results are an excellent step in the right direction.