ForeSee Results has just released the latest survey scores for search engines, compiled for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
It appears that search engines have received the lowest rates of consumer satisfaction in 10 years, with social sites scoring even worse.
Google received its worst score in the entire history of the survey - 77 out of a 100, dropping down 5 points from last year. Yahoo and Bing also suffered a loss in points compared to their scores last year. AOL scored the worst, with 71.
ForeSee declared that the overriding reason for the drop in scores was because of the view that “advertising is diminishing the customer experience, especially among search engines.”
Given that there hasn’t been a massive decline in the relevance of search ads or a sharp increase in the number of ads on the page, this doesn't really make sense in terms of search marketing.
The survey claims that 22 per cent of search engine visitors state that what they least liked about the sites were advertisements. While surveys like these predict future consumer behaviour for more traditional industries, they don’t work the same way with e-businesses. For example, past ‘gains’ by Google never translated into actual market share profits.
Likewise, it’s unclear how these results will play out in terms of market share for Google and the other search engines.
A more significant finding of the survey is that Google’s consumer loyalty has not wavered in the past year, whereas other search engines found their popularity declining, on an average of 30 per cent.