Look out, Google. In the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index for search engines, Bing has practically matched the search leader’s consumer satisfaction score for the second year in a row, with Ask.com not that far behind.
Bing Barely Behind Google
The scores look like this:
- Google: 82 points
- Bing: 81 points
- Ask.com: 80 points
- Yahoo: 78 points
On the ASCI scale, 100 would be a perfect score. Google earned 82, or what I’d call a B letter grade. But Bing was just behind by one point, and that makes it effectively tied with Google. Writes ACSI:
Once trailing Google by three points, Bing is now just one point behind Google in terms of customer satisfaction, which is within the margin of error and means that they are neck-and-neck in terms of providing their users with an excellent customer experience.
One aspect users liked about Bing was its design. ACSI noted:
When asked: “What do you like best about this search engine site?,” a full 55% of those surveyed about Bing liked Bing’s ease of use more than any other search engine.
Before assuming that Bing’s recent redesign deserves credit here, keep in mind that Bing is down a point from last year (as is Google). The redesign (which I like) didn’t seem to improve Bing’s score, nor did the increasing complexity of Google’s search page seem to have hurt Gogle, given that Bing had the same drop.
This Year Like Last Year
All in all, it was really a year of nothing largely changing. Yahoo also dropped a single point from the previous year. Ask.com stayed steady. The overall trend:
Yahoo’s challenging, because the ACSI category measures “Portals & Search Engines.” Are customers considering Yahoo as a search engine or portal? It’s not clear. Also measured are MSN (78 points this year) and AOL (74 points). I’ve not listed them, as they seem much more firmly in the portal camp.
Search Satisfaction Drops Slightly
Overall, search satisfaction also stayed about the same, dropping only a point from 80 last year to 79 this year:
The overall rate still hasn’t matched the high of 83 points in 2009. However, ACSI said that the Portals & Search Engines category is the highest rated one in its E-Business Index, which includes internet news and information sites, portals and search engines and social media sites.
ACSI also released new social media satisfaction scores today. See our story on that: Google+ Debuts With ACSI Consumer Satisfaction Score Well Above Facebook’s.