Google: Satisfaction Guaranteed
The company has once again achieved top rank among Internet search engines and portals in the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the seventh time it has done so in eight years. This year Google (GOOG) received 86 points, out of a possible 100, besting Yahoo’s (YHOO) 77 points, Microsoft’s (MSFT) 75, Ask.com’s 74 and AOL’s 70.
That’s a nice lead and one Google should have no trouble maintaining if it stays its course. This, in spite of Microsoft’s new search effort, Bing, and its “boatloads of value” search deal with Yahoo.
Though the latest ACSI scores don’t reflect either (they were complied prior to Bing’s launch and the Microsoft-Yahoo announcement) Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results, which compiles the rankings, doesn’t see them doing much to undermine Google. As Freed notes, Google is unquestionably king of search and the only competition in ACSI’s search category is for second place.
“Where will Bing’s market share come from? From Yahoo and MSN initially and maybe from Ask.com, though Ask is a niche player with stable customer satisfaction and market share,” Freed said. “It seems unlikely that customers will actually leave Google in enough numbers to allow Bing to seriously challenge Google’s market dominance, given Google’s extremely high customer satisfaction.”
Freed adds: “People are happy with Google, so why would they switch? They might switch if Bing is better, and that’s a tall order considering Google is the second-highest scoring ACSI service-sector company, behind Newegg.com. Bing has been called a search engine war ‘game changer,’ but Google’s game will be very hard to change at this point. If anyone can do it, it’s the combined resources and market share of Yahoo and MSN.”