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Yahoo! Businesses Google The Internet

Yahoo Edges out Google in Customer Satisfaction 212

Posted by Zonk
from the some-yodels-of-joy-are-heard dept.
athloi writes "The University of Michigan's American Consumer Satisfaction Index shows some significant shifts this year in consumer satisfaction among several major online players: Google, Yahoo, Ask, and AOL. For one, Google no longer holds first place. 'The ACSI report notes that Yahoo's jump into first place was a 4 percent increase over its score from last year, while Google saw a 4 percent decrease during the same time period. ACSI says that to the untrained eye, Google's home page today looks almost identical to the way it looked years ago. This is where Google's simplicity is apparently hurting it in the long-term, as new users just aren't seeing Google's new offerings--such as increased storage options, additions to Google Maps, and tweaks to Google Image Search--right in front of their faces like they do with other sites.'"
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Yahoo Edges out Google in Customer Satisfaction

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  • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:12PM (#20228501) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, I have no gripes with Yahoo, they always return my ping requests within milliseconds.
    • True that, I've had 66.218.71.198 memorized as my Internet connectivity test for 6-8 years now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      Not only that, who are their customers? Users might be more appropriate wording. It's not like many (any) people actually pay money to these companies for their services.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Yes you are right. I did my own study on this, and here are my results:

      Pinging www.yahoo-ht3.akadns.net [209.131.36.158] with 32 bytes of data:

      Reply from 209.131.36.158: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=50
      Reply from 209.131.36.158: bytes=32 time=4ms TTL=51
      Reply from 209.131.36.158: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=50
      Reply from 209.131.36.158: bytes=32 time=5ms TTL=51

      Ping statistics for 209.131.36.158:
      Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
      Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wwwillem (253720)
      Ehhhh:

      bash-3.00$ ping -s www.yahoo.com
      PING www.yahoo.com: 56 data bytes
      64 bytes from f1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com (209.191.93.52): icmp_seq=0. time=57.436 ms
      64 bytes from f1.www.vip.mud.yahoo.com (209.191.93.52): icmp_seq=1. time=53.995 ms

      bash-3.00$ ping -s www.google.com
      PING www.google.com: 56 data bytes
      64 bytes from qb-in-f147.google.com (72.14.205.147): icmp_seq=0. time=7.700 ms
      64 bytes from qb-in-f147.google.com (72.14.205.147): icmp_seq=1. time=7.029 ms

      Over here 7.5 ms is still faster than 55 ms. :)
    • Re:Good ping times (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Phroggy (441) <slashdot3NO@SPAMphroggy.com> on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @06:26PM (#20231377) Homepage
      I wonder how much bandwidth yahoo.com uses just for ICMP traffic alone. There are thousands of machines out there that ping yahoo.com to test Internet connectivity. I wonder how much of the Internet would break horribly if Yahoo decided to firewall pings?
  • by seanadams.com (463190) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:13PM (#20228511) Homepage
    Who exactly takes these surveys? Isn't it largely midwestern housewives who have time to answer the phone during the day, and are happy just to have someone to talk to?
    • by Sciros (986030) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:26PM (#20228717) Journal
      Hey, who are you calling largely?!

      It's true we just sit around the house, and I mean literally *around the house,* and have no-one to talk to, but that doesn't give you the right to make fun of our weight!

      (Ok I had 1 hour of sleep and I don't know how many coffees. Please excuse!)
    • Yahoo! - it's the new AOL.

      Said in total derision, but that's actually a huge thing for them if they do get perceived that way. Only a few years ago, everyboy was predicting their demise...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JesseL (107722)
        There will always be money to be made in catering to morons, but it's not really something we all need to aspire to.
        • 'Morons' as you say make purchases off of targeted advertising ... I bet it is what Google 'aspires' to.
    • Who exactly posts on Slashdot? Isn't largely geeky virgins living in their mother's basement who have time to post on the internet, and are happy to find some virtual community where everybody agrees with them and feel compelled to defend cool companies and flame uncool companies?
    • by UbuntuDupe (970646) * on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @03:16PM (#20229425) Journal
      You got modded Funny, undeservedly so. That's a good question, and (with Sargeant Pepper above) I agree: how reliable are these surveys? Who actually answers them anymore? Not younger people, who have an unlisted cell phone for VoIP. (Thanks, earlier telecom/telemarketing practices!) Not people with a life, who view it as a mark of shame to be suckered into taking a survey. Not people an office number you random-dialed, who will leap on any excuse not to talk. ("Oh, sorry, can't do that on company time" *reload Slashdot*) So who's left? A REALLY ****in' skewed sample!
  • Spot on (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Prysorra (1040518) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:15PM (#20228555)
    At least with google maps.

    Take a look at yahoo maps. It's ..... done. Those whole world is there.

    Now when I want to see if google maps added any countries, I have to go to a BLOGSPOT blog. (http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/)

    They're waaaayy too slow actually actually finalize a product. Check out the labs. (labs.google.com).

    What....*what* is still beta???
    • Re:Spot on (Score:4, Informative)

      by IANAAC (692242) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:25PM (#20228705)

      Take a look at yahoo maps. It's ..... done. Those whole world is there.

      Even for parts of the US...

      There have been times I've entered an address in google maps and it's come back empty. I can go to yahoo maps and enter the same thing and get a valid result.

      It used to be that google maps had the edge with its hybrid and satellite views, but yahoo has all that now too.

      • Re:Spot on (Score:5, Informative)

        by garcia (6573) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @03:33PM (#20229633)
        It used to be that google maps had the edge with its hybrid and satellite views, but yahoo has all that now too.

        Fuck Yahoo and Google. As shitty as it is for me to say this, Microsoft's Live Maps' (in many areas) aerial photos (taken very recently from less than 100 yards and 360 degrees) blows Yahoo, Ask, Google, etc away.

        I still use Google Maps/Earth, especially w/topo via GPSVisualizer, plotting shit for work, and viewing converted ARCView files (shapefiles) but when I'm researching a place to camp, a house to buy, or to quickly survey an area we will be visiting, it's Microsoft's Live Maps. I'm very disappointed that Google hasn't kept up and I'm not sure why.
        • The aerial photos at maps.live.com are spot on for the region. (249 corporate dr. houma, la. 70360 (I judge all mapping sites by this address since I know it is wrong most of the time))

          The aerial photos at maps.google.com and maps.yahoo.com are old. Way old.

          However, all three sites use the same street maps, which if you use the Hybrid view on maps.live.com show that you will drive straight into a building.

          And the streets are mislabeled. Enterprise doesn't intersect with Hollywood. That's Corporate. What the
          • by garcia (6573)
            And the aerial photo (maps.live.com) can't be more than one or two years old. I only notice a couple of missing buildings, and they have the Sam's Club they just built on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Main St. (North and slightly East).

            For my home I can date them to April or May 2006 based on the for sale sign in my neighbor's yard and the color of the grass w/a lack of snow.
          • by Reziac (43301) *
            Maps usually show *dedicated* streets (ie. where the legal easement goes), not actual streets. And the two often don't match, sometimes not even close. The only maps I've ever seen that *always* showed actual streets (not dedicated streets) were the AAA maps from pre-1990. (Now they're as inaccurate as everyone else.)

            Good example: the Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power sits squarely atop a dedicated street. If you try to use said street, you'll smack into a large concrete wall. :)

            Rural street maps are eve
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        However, Google maps has the advantages:

        -Can modify driving route directly from the map by dragging a square
        -Doesn't require flash
    • Re:Spot on (Score:5, Informative)

      by FJR1300 Rider (888176) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:49PM (#20229015)
      Done? Well, hardly! Yahoo Maps are junk, full stop. Take a look at this map of Boadilla del Monte, Spain, where I live:

      http://maps.yahoo.com/broadband#mvt=h&q1=calle+gre gorio+maranon%2C+boadilla+del+monte%2C+spain&trf=0 &lon=-3.892947&lat=40.406177&mag=2 [yahoo.com]

      (Please zoom to street level. Btw is there anything in Yahoo Maps similar to Google's "Link to this Page"? Can't find it anywhere, it's hard to believe such a basic functionality is missing, and yet it's... done!)

      Now the same spot in Google Maps:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=b oadilla+del+monte,+spain&ie=UTF8&ll=40.404657,-3.8 94675&spn=0.012876,0.020514&t=h&z=16&om=1 [google.com]

      Can you spot the differences? And please note that Google Maps is a couple of years outdated! Yahoo must be 5 years old, M50 ring road isn't even there!

      http://maps.yahoo.com/broadband#mvt=h&q1=aeropuert o+de+madrid-barajas%2C+madrid%2C+spain&trf=0&lon=- 3.583539&lat=40.493698&mag=3 [yahoo.com]

      Please zoom to street level. This is Barajas, Madrid's Airport. That big building site you see is T4, the new terminal, the one that has been opened since February 2006.

      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=a venida+de+aragon,+madrid&sll=40.416706,-3.703269&s spn=0.205974,0.328217&ie=UTF8&ll=40.490843,-3.5920 79&spn=0.012859,0.020514&t=h&z=16&om=1 [google.com]

      Similarly, Real Madrid's (David Beckham's former club) new training grounds:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=a venida+de+aragon,+madrid&sll=40.416706,-3.703269&s spn=0.205974,0.328217&ie=UTF8&ll=40.478439,-3.6132 36&spn=0.012862,0.020514&t=h&z=16&om=1 [google.com]

      Nowhere to be seen on Yahoo Maps.

      This is the Cuatro Torres [wikipedia.org] (Four Towers) Business Area, named after the 4 skyscrapers that are being erected there for the past two years or so. Strangely enough, Yahoo still seems to think it's Real Madrid's old training grounds!

      http://maps.yahoo.com/broadband#mvt=h&q1=calle+man uel+caldeiro%2C+madrid%2C+spain&trf=0&lon=-3.68568 8&lat=40.476579&mag=2 [yahoo.com]

      Now contrast with Google Maps:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl [google.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hibiki_r (649814)
        As far as Spain is concerned, it's hard to argue that yahoo has way less info than google maps. If you thought things look bad in Madrid, try a smaller city, Like Oviedo: The detailed maps are not even there.
      • Re:Spot on (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @04:54PM (#20230545)
        Seriously, Yahoo Maps is rubbish. And I'm not even talking about the ugly and unfriendly interface.

        since I said not so flattering things about google in my last post, I'll even it up by speaking in their favor.

        I block flash and just don't ever install that software. flash tends to be mostly ads and I can easily live without the other bits that aren't ads.

        given that I block flash, I didn't even SEE yahoo's maps. I got some 'you must upgrade flash' page, instead.

        otoh, the google map you linked to (boadilla del monte) came up quickly and displayed well.

        so at this point, unless I'm willing to install flash - I can't even RUN yahoo's maps on my browser (latest firefox on freebsd; and I just refuse to install any flash libs on my system. I'm just that way.)

        ok, google wins on the map issue - for me, at least. I'll give the devil its due ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jeevesbond (1066726)

      Take a look at yahoo maps. It's ..... done. Those whole world is there.

      It's done, in unbearably slow Flash. I can't use Yahoo maps at all, it's a PITArse! Agreed that Google should spend more time on finishing/maintaining products than creating new ones, but Yahoo's binary-cruft-o-maps are not a shining example the rest of the world should follow!

      It's difficult to believe the article's weird supposition that Google's ultra-clean home page is somehow hurting them, that was one of the main reasons I--and

    • Re:Spot on (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:59PM (#20229151) Homepage Journal
      I've said it many times before, but maybe this time people will stop and think before dismissing me as a troll.

      Google does not know how to produce mature applications. They only hire brilliant people (or people who are good at passing themselves as brilliant; and yes I do have specific individuals in mind) and they let people work pretty much without supervision. Plus, they have a rule that all developers must spend a fixed percentage of time on unassigned projects!

      So basically, their developers never have to do anything they don't really want to do. I've worked in organizations that fostered this kind of working environment (though usually not intentionally) and here's what happens: developers spend all their time finding intellectually challenging work to do, and just ignore all the boring stuff. So you get lots of kewl new features, but nobody's squashing bugs or polishing the GUI, or doing any of the other boring chores you need to polish the rough edges off a product.

      You mention Yahoo maps versus Google maps. For a long time, the technology behind Google maps was way superior to Yahoo's. In some ways, it still is. (Yahoo doesn't let you change your route with a simple drag.) But Yahoo has always been ahead of Google in the boring-but-necessary stuff, like providing simple drop-down lists of your memorized locations. Google didn't even have memorized locations for a long time, and when they finally implemented it, they used a weird keyword system that's a pain to use.

      Google really needs to hire some relatively stupid plodders to go in and clean up stuff. Hey, I'm available!
      • It's an interesting theory, but I've always found their applications to be acceptably mature, and they're hardly bug-ridden like you imply they would be. What I've seen is that they get an application to a level where they can leave it alone for a while and then just leave it alone.
        • by fm6 (162816)
          Yeah, I'm sure Google developers have too much self respect not to let bugs go unfixed, or at least not the really glaring ones. But I've seen programmers skimp on their bug fixing because they had a kewl new feature they wanted to work on. And this with a deadline bearing down on them! Though in fact, to these guys, meeting deadlines wasn't a big priority.

          At Google, do they even have deadlines? Not from what I can see.

          By "acceptably mature" I suppose you mean "usable, and with no nasty glitches". Maybe you
      • Re:Spot on (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @04:34PM (#20230331)
        They only hire brilliant people (or people who are good at passing themselves as brilliant).

        don't believe this! they look for robots and coders (not really engineers) who pass multiple phone interview quizzes and tests that really test nothing other than giving the interviewer an ego boost. if you're right out of school you might do ok; but if you have actual field and industry experience and are a bit more seasoned than just being a human coding engine, they won't want you.

        (ask me how I know...)

        • Re:Spot on (Score:4, Funny)

          by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @05:41PM (#20230973) Homepage Journal
          If you learned to use the shift key, your resume would probably come across better.
          • If you learned to use the shift key, your resume would probably come across better.

            you're new to unix, aren't you?

          • ok, I get it. I just checked your website. you're a tech writer.

            that's fine. I now see why you immediately went for my lowercase style of writing. that does tend to piss off tech writer folks.

            however, I'm -not- a tech writer and so as long as I don't turn in finished docs with in all l/c, what's the big deal? I do know the difference and I take the effort to cap things when the occasion really justifies it; but I choose to use mostly l/c for informal writing. its much less stress on the old carpal tu
        • Re:Spot on (Score:4, Interesting)

          by inKubus (199753) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @07:12PM (#20231671) Homepage Journal
          Actually, they are hiring 100 sales managers and sales reps for every programmer, hardware tech or other technical position. They don't want experienced programmers because they are more expensive and are tough to brainwash. Not to say they aren't doing well with what they have. But the model is to build a large computer out of commodity parts and do stuff with it. That's about it. And of course grow and multiply like a virus, just asking cheap techs for more hardware when it needs it. They've basically managed to program themselves a growing business. And as long as there's a web, we'll need it. The problem is the web growth is slowing in the US. India and China and the rest of Asia is still growing rapidly. Google is not very present there but Yahoo has made it a priority almost since day one. Probably due to the fact that one of the founders is Asian. So Yahoo wins as far as services growth. Yahoo knows they can keep up with the indexing by just having a lot of humans sorting their index, and using some of the tech they might have reverse engineered from Google. And Yahoo has a society built around it. I rather like it. Although I use Google for technical searches.
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Not only that, but when Google DOES decide to "mature" its stuff, it BREAKS things that used to work for everyone.

        How many folks here use some form of Mozilla/Firefox? How many of you have noticed that you can no longer maximize the Map area, since the arrow to get rid of the sidebar is invisible in anything but IE? There used to be a hack to fix this, but recently it stopped working. Oh, and if you complain, you do NOT get an answer anymore (used to, but not now).

        And then there's Google search. It used to
    • I've never seen the perfect mapping system; what works in Utah doesn't work in Colorado and vice versa.

      Also, no offense, but I could hardly understand what you were saying.
      "Those whole world is there" - mistakenly put "those" instead of "the"?
      "They're waaaayy too slow actually actually finalize a product" - you've got a subject and an object but no verb.
      "What....*what* is still beta???" - unless "*what*" is a program of google's, I have no idea what you're talking about.

      Just wanted to let you kn
    • Except for 249 Corporate Dr. Houma, La. 70360 where it is still using a decade old map. You try driving around here with those directions, you will likely run into a building.
  • Perhaps... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ral315 (741081) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:15PM (#20228559)
    Perhaps the best move is to have some Google Blog entries on the main page. If done tactfully, they could easily inform users of new updates without becoming as bloated as Yahoo has.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dotpavan (829804)
      new users just aren't seeing Google's new offerings--such as increased storage options, additions to Google Maps, and tweaks to Google Image Search--right in front of their faces like they do with other sites.,br>

      has anyone ever seen Google advertise its arsenal of products? except for this spoof commercial [youtube.com]. Google's USP is that they have these details sneak in via various news items, and rest is left to the hype, and over zealous fans keep digging for minuscule details. Irony is that one of the larg

      • Actually, I've found this really irritating. It seems the worst indexed pages on the Internet are Google's own. Maybe they are frightened of being sued if they talk about their own services to the exclusion of others, but if you add site:google.com and it's still hard to find information, then something's wrong.
  • by poor_boi (548340) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:15PM (#20228561)
    I like the wild stab at blaming Google's "simplistic" homepage as being the cause of their lack of customer satisfaction. The quick-to-load, non-headache inducing simple Google homepage is one of the reasons that drew me in to Google, and is one of the reasons that keeps me coming back. But maybe I'm just a geek that way and other people want their homepages to look like a neon strip mall.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      I tend to use iGoogle as my homepage and I also have a my.yahoo homepage. I have to say that I like the my.yahoo homepage a little more but then I have very good ad blocking so Yahoo probably doesn't like me all that much.
      What I want to know is does anyone actually use the Google homepage for searching? I have Google set as my default search engine in Firefox so I almost never go to www.google.com
      • I've never gotten into the habit of using the built-in search boxes in any browser, so, yes, someone (me) still uses the Google homepage for searching.

        I also tend to memorize URL's and type them directly into the URL box in my browser rather than searching and clicking or using bookmarks. And there's a bonus: I never have to import bookmarks or sync them between browsers.
        • by fotbr (855184)
          Big +1 on both from me.

          I don't like browsers having a built in search box, I don't search from the URL box, and most of the time I know where I want to go, and just go there directly. When I want to search, I go to www.google.com.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          I also use the web in this way. I have almost no bookmarks, as I have all the urls of the sites I want to visit memorized. It's faster to hit CTRL+T and type in the URL then it is to find something in my bookmarks. And while searching would be a little quicker using the built in search box, I don't find actually loading up google to slow me down that much. On a related note, does anybody else turn off the history function. I have never found a use for it. Unless you visit 5 pages a day, it gets way to
      • I totally agree, the pages one accesses often must be clean and fast. Google home has still things i didn't like (arial default font, failed to work as local page, and a look somewhat too anonymous). But that was easy to fix [imagevenue.com]. It was also online (but the page was against google guidelines in several ways) and is still kinda accessible through the library [archive.org]
    • Yes, wild stab indeed, given that google HAS altered their homepage. And I'm starting to get annoyed about the extra crap.

      If anything Google should ignore the temptation to weigh down the homepage.
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        Yes, yes, yes! I agree 10000%!!! I just want a damned search box, I don't want the kitchen sink, a Starbucks, and a French chef! fine, put links to all that other crap there, I don't care, just don't make me wade through it.

    • "But maybe I'm just a geek that way and other people want their homepages to look like a neon strip mall."

      If you were a geek you'd never see the home page of your search engine.
    • Myself, I *like* having a single bookmark making available a wide range of resources.
  • Of course... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JesseL (107722) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:15PM (#20228567) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure that far more people still use Google, and most of those people would be even less satisfied with Yahoo!.
  • Simplicity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bmw (115903) * on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:15PM (#20228571)
    The simplicity of their site and the fact that Google *hasn't* changed their front page to include the usual bloat is exactly what keeps some of us using it. I know that more users equals more money and maybe the masses want more crap on the main page (maybe they don't) but sometimes it may be better to worry about quality more than quantity. That's one of the things that has made Google so strong over the years. They haven't (yet) sacrificed their quality just to be mainstream and I think that has worked very well for them so far. The day that Google loses their simplicity on the main search page is the day I find an alternative.
    • by tbannist (230135)
      The article might have a minor point, the Google page [google.com] does look a little dated now, especially compared to the minimalistic but more modern looking ask.com [ask.com] front page.

      Mind you, there are probably really good reasons not to change to an ask.com type frontpage like accessibility for the blind, and for that 2-3 percent of users who still don't have browsers that can handle complicated CSS.
    • I'm ready now (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tknd (979052)
      I'm ready to switch search engines now. It's getting harder every day to actually use Google's search to find useful results. People are continuously attempting to SEO their ebusinesses onto the front page of Google. So rather than returning useful resources I basically get advertisements in the search results. Add on the side ads and sometimes the ads that appear at the top and I begin to wonder why I even tried it in the first place. Unfortunately I haven't seen a compelling alternative and I think even i
      • by Reziac (43301) *
        That's a serious problem all right. The linkfarms have gotten so good at gaming the search engines, that sometimes it's not possible to find (or to separate out) the real results from the crap results.

        And considering how many linkfarms show up in the adwords sidebar, one has to wonder just how serious Google is about keeping them out of the main search results.

    • That's awful shallow of you (and others who espouse this view) isn't it? You are far more concerned with what something looks like than over the quality of the services. Would honestly use a crappy search engine just because it's interface is cleaner and simpler?
       
      If you haven't looked at Yahoo's front page in a while, you just might try. It's clean, fast, and all the important stuff is right at the top of the page.
  • Actually... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:18PM (#20228597) Homepage Journal

    This is where Google's simplicity is apparently hurting it in the long-term, as new users just aren't seeing Google's new offerings--such as increased storage options, additions to Google Maps, and tweaks to Google Image Search--right in front of their faces like they do with other sites.

    It's not their simplicity that's hurting them, it's that they've failed to follow through on their success. The search engine was an amazing tool, and GMail was absolutely wonderful. But after that they had quite a few missteps. Maps was initially less useful than, say, MapQuest due to poor directions. This was eventually improved upon, but now Google is fighting the first-impression syndrome. Similarly, Google Video failed to appeal to most users. Google eventually gave up and bought their competitor: YouTube. Which sent the message that Google Video was as much of a failure as everyone thought it was.

    Then you've got increasing complaints about their AdSense and AdWords services. Various webmasters complaining that they were kicked out of the program for no discernible reason. AdWords advertisers who say that they're getting charged for links they didn't get. Etc.

    It all adds up to an age old problem: It's hard to maintain the top position. All the eyeballs are focused on you, and if you don't deliver you're going to get heavily criticized for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FreeKill (1020271)
      That's sort of exactly what I was going to say. I think Google is getting kind of a bad reputation for being "too good" for their customers. Especially when it comes to adwords/adsense. Take a look at sites like http://forums.digitalpoint.com/ [digitalpoint.com] and you can find literally thousands of people who were dumped by Google with nothing more then a lockout of their account and an ambiguous email. That kind of customer service will get you nowhere. Also, they have a brutal history with some of their apps when it com
    • by MushMouth (5650)
      Their directions still tend to suck. What's worse is that they suck for routes that people at Google would take and get directions for. Look at where they send you if you go from 19th Ave San Francisco to Big Basin CA. They send you more than 10 miles up a 1.5 lane road filled with switchbacks (old La Honda) instead of putting you onto Skyline at 92 or at Sand Hill Road both of which are relatively straight and have at least 2 lanes (with passing lanes). You may save a mile or two but its much slower, a
    • Google Video failed to appeal to most users. Google eventually gave up and bought their competitor: YouTube. Which sent the message that Google Video was as much of a failure as everyone thought it was.

      Well, the other issue was how they screwed people who had purchased content off Google video. I don't whether is just goes against their 'do no evil' mandate or whether its shear incompetence, either way it just highlights what can end up happening with DRMed content. At least with a DVD you are free from thi
    • I really like Google maps except for the fact that my street has problems in their software. The features are good enough and do what I need to but not having my street bugs the hell out of me. There's also no way to talk to them about it so I can let them know.

      Here's the problem: I live on 'Center St NW' and this matters because there's another 'Center St' in the city. When you use NW, you end up being shown 'Northwest Dr NW'. But when you spell out Northwest, you end up at my address. Unfortunately if
    • Maps was initially less useful than, say, MapQuest due to poor directions. This was eventually improved upon, but now Google is fighting the first-impression syndrome.

      I think that might depend on your particular experience - for me, Maps was a godsend from day 1 because I've had nothing but trouble with Mapquest. Additionally, their UI blew Mapquest out of the water. Add in the satellite imagery, local search, customizeability, and I haven't used Mapquest in years.

      Various webmasters complaining that t

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        The first map software that prints maps specifically designed for greyscale (laser) printers will get my business. The most ridiculous part of all those mapping sites (Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, Google Maps) is that they require expensive color ink to give you a simple route on a map. Print it out in greyscale, and your path is a slightly darker blob in the middle of slightly lighter blobs.
    • by trifish (826353)
      Google Video failed to appeal to most users. Google eventually gave up and bought their competitor: YouTube.

      Gave up? That's news to me. The site - video.google.com - is still up and running (btw, still in beta, as usual).
  • What are we "consuming" when we visit one of these sites? It seems like the advertisers are the consumers and we, the page-viewers and click-throughers, are the product...
    • More like:

      Google ----content/ads ----> You
      You ----sales----> Advertisers
      Advertisers ----money----> Google

      Fairly similar to the TV model where the shows still measure ratings through you not through their advertisers. 'Customer satisfaction' is probably not the best term for what these guys are measuring though.

      Cheers!

  • My daughter discovered this infernal thing called iGoogle, something exactly like a yahoo portal customized from her google/gmail account. Every time she forgets to log out, I am presented with that garish thing. I have to go and reset it to "classic" interface. Dont know if it is a google project or someone trying to crash Google's party. Like that thing seenonslash.com trying to live on the reflected glory of slashdot.
    • by LMacG (118321)
      > I have to go and reset it to "classic" interface

      It's a single click, the link in the upper right corner. Hardly a long drawn out "reset" process.

      It used to be called the Google "customized home page." The iGoogle name is, I agree, stupid.
    • by ASBands (1087159)

      Hey, now. As an avid user of iGoogle, I object to your objections. One's Google homepage is only as monstrous as you make it. Mine, for example, has GMail, the weather and RSS feeds for Slashdot and Reuters. It's my homepage, so every time I start up my web browser, I check my e-mail. Sure, you're free to put games, quotes or the terror that is Google Eyes [blogspot.com], but you certainly don't have to. Furthermore, your feeds are loaded independently and after the top search bar, so if you want to immediately do a

  • I am to only one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trjonescp (954259) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:29PM (#20228775) Homepage
    who immediately opened a new tab and brought up yahoo.com to see a cluttered page (although less so than it used to be) and a Flash advertisement and sat there scratching my head with a "Huh?" look on my face?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AltGrendel (175092)
      Probably.

      The rest of us are using Adblock.

    • by vidarh (309115)
      I didn't, because I know that's not what most Yahoo users see. In fact, a huge percentage of the people who do go to Yahoo's homepage do so only to immediately click through to one of the other services (like mail etc.), and a huge part of their users will also go straight to those other services... Whenever Yahoo is discussed on Slashdot, the homepage comes up, completely ignoring the fact that the homepage is only one of a huge number of services, and many Yahoo users can go years without ever seeing the
    • who immediately opened a new tab and brought up yahoo.com to see a cluttered page (although less so than it used to be) and a Flash advertisement and sat there scratching my head with a "Huh?" look on my face?

      Gaaah! My eyes! The goggles, they do nothing!

    • you saw a flash ad?

      the fact that you let ads thru (especially flash) means you don't have your browser 'configured' correctly (nudge, nudge).

  • The comments here pretty much sums up user experience with Yahoo! lately:

    http://yodel.yahoo.com/2006/11/28/anything-good-on -tonight/ [yahoo.com]

    Yahoo maps used to be great, but I like google these days, so haven't gone back to see how Yahoo is anymore. The biggest win for Google's mapping service is the fact that other sites can use their APIs and database (mapmyride.com for example). Yahoo's movie listings are still ok, but if they go down the road they went with yahoo TV, there will be a mass exodus for that servi
    • Yahoo is dead (at least to this user) if google ever does TV and Movie listings with the same useful, unobtrusive interface that they use for their other stuff.

      They definitely do movie listings, at least in my city. Googling "movies orlando" brings up showtimes nearby--closest theatre if I use a zip code.

    • by carlivar (119811)
      I don't understand what you mean with the API example, since Yahoo Maps has a pretty nice API:

      http://developer.yahoo.com/maps/ [yahoo.com]

      The Yahoo Local API is rather handy as well. I just used it in an app I'm working on.
  • "ACSI says that to the untrained eye, Google's home page today looks almost identical to the way it looked years ago. This is where Google's simplicity is apparently hurting it in the long-term, as new users just aren't seeing Google's new offerings..."

    Typical market survey.

    1) Say, "Hey, I wonder if..."
    1) Ask some questions and see some results.
    2) Draw conclusions from the results which support your initial premise.

    Is Google's market share dropping? Well if the numbers are correct then then answer is yes. T
    • by carlivar (119811)

      I generally use alltheweb.com as my main search engine

      You realize this is Yahoo, right? Same results as search.yahoo.com.

  • Google's home page today looks almost identical to the way it looked years ago. This is where Google's simplicity is apparently hurting it in the long-term, as new users just aren't seeing Google's new offerings--such as increased storage options, additions to Google Maps, and tweaks to Google Image Search--right in front of their faces like they do with other sites.

    Which front page? This one [google.com], or this one [google.com]?

    True, the second one hasn't really changed much - only a few extra clicky's for new stuff they've a

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @02:51PM (#20229051) Journal
    What Google needs is not to change its clean search engine, but just provide a new service, maybe text linked to from the search engine place... Called something like "Google Center" which is more of a portal, or at least news page. I know their blogs announcing stuff like Google Earth updates or whatever, but I don't think a blog is efficient enough in format. The page could collate news from different major areas (search, Google Earth, Gmail, ...) along with having a "Misc" section where you have links to stories announcing other more minor things.

    Just some one stop place where people can actually get an overview of not just their services [google.com], but the news on their services.
    • You can set up your own Google homepage for that. I despise Yahoo. It's so f**king cluttered and annoying. What I hate even more is how the touchy-feely crowd might actually ruin a simple and functional interface so they can have some stupid newsticker that tells them when Britney Spears' latest boob-flashing incident occured.
  • I really like Google's page simplicity. Its the main reason I use them.
    I hate pages that agregate all sorts of redundant stuff and advertising when you're just looking for a search page.
  • Google's home page today looks almost identical to the way it looked years ago

    In my mind, that simplicity is a Good Thing(TM). When I want to search, I just want to enter a keyword; I don't want a bunch of crap I have no interest in presented to me.
  • A small added benefit of Google's simplicity is that it doesn't send me into epileptic seizures.

    And I'm not even epileptic.

    Yahoo's main page may tell me about all the shiny new things they have going on but _I_DON'T_CARE_. I just want to run a search. A "What's new?" link would be plenty - for when I actually care, which is 1% of the time max.
    • by carlivar (119811)
      sigh... for the 3rd or 4th time on this topic:

      search.yahoo.com
      • still has tons of stuff I don't care about. Stock information? Don't own any, and if I did I'd go to stock sites to check that out. News? Not interested - I just want to search the web.
        • by carlivar (119811)
          The funny thing is the 5 or so "main Yahoo news items" have been pretty much my main source of news for the past several years. Yes, that's probably rather sad.

          At any rate, you can remove that stuff pretty easily, but I'd imagine it's per-browser unless you're logged in, so yeah, I guess for the ultra-sparse look Google wins.

          Though there's also alltheweb.com and altavista.com, both of which are also Yahoo Search.
  • I like Google for mail and searching but twice now in the last month their maps have showed me the address wrong. I put a zip code in with the address and it gives me a map a few miles North with a different zip code with no warning. Yahoo maps hasn't steered me wrong yet so I've given up on Google maps.
  • I'm generally pretty satisfied with Google, but their search logic and interface has been slowly changing of lat and it's not always for the better...

    For example, you used to always be informed of how many articles are on a groups.google.com discussion thread, now you often just get the line with the date & author but no article count-- which for a while I assumed meant there was only 1, but I've since realized that's not the case-- which is *really* annoying-- I've long wished you could filter on thr
  • > Yahoo Edges out Google in Customer Satisfaction

    Of course. The Chinese Government is extremely satisfied with Yahoo. Unfortunately for Yahoo, Congress has just announced they're going to investigate their compliancy with the Chinese Government. Treason is still a crime, Jerry Wang.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/congress-inv estigate-yahoo-involvement-china/story.aspx?guid=% 7B1286B45B-AE3F-426B-B832-1F5E35C677D0%7D [marketwatch.com]
    http://www.boingboing.net/2007/07/31/yahoo_and_jai led_jou.html [boingboing.net]

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