InfoSpace recently sold both its local and directory assets and its mobile platform business to Idearc/Superpages and Motricity respectively. So what’s left? Specifically Dogpile and its cousins Metacrawler, Webcrawler and the domain InfoSpace.com. The company also owns the kid-friendly search site Zoo.com. Amid all this, JD Power & Associates has just named Dogpile “highest in customer satisfaction among search engines” for the second year.
There were different results coming out of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index survey of “e-business,” which includes search engines. However, the JD Power ratings for Dogpile belies the company’s tiny search market share, which is less than one percent and gets lumped into the “others” category typically.
Consumers have never clearly understood “metasearch” and InfoSpace has never done a particularly good job of explaining the benefits to users — or those benefits have not been perceived to be enough to overcome the habitual behavior of searchers (read: Google & Yahoo). With the focus now on general search left (though local content can still be found through InfoSpace itself and within general meta search results), the challenge will be for InfoSpace to take some risks and reinvent its products and itself.
FYI, the JD Power study also found:
The number of customers who report using search engines on a daily basis has increased from 66 percent in 2006 to 70 percent in 2007. Google remains the most widely accessed search engine in the study, experiencing an increase in usage of 7 percentage points from 2006 to 58 percent in 2007.