Yahoo! has always been one of the leaders in local and a kind of standard setter. Relatively speaking, Google is a bit of a “Johnny come lately” in the segment — albeit with a lot of resources and attention. However Google’s devotion to its maps product has paid off and caused it to overtake Yahoo, in the quest to beat market leader MapQuest:
Over at SEL I blogged about big customer satisfaction gains for Yahoo in general search, which are based on the the most recent Keynote Customer Experience Rankings of search engines. Overall, Yahoo has made some impressive strides and also recently beat Google according to the University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI).
According to one of the Keynote satisfaction findings, however, Yahoo appears to be declining vs. Google in local:
Source: Keynote Systems, Inc. (2008)
In discussing the 2007 ACSI index results with Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee Results, which sponsors and interprets the ACSI e-business report, I asked him how to reconcile the findings with the market share distribution in search. Freed told me he was confident that “search market share reflects past behavior. But the ASCI is predictive of future consumer behavior.”
If that’s true Yahoo! might well still be the local traffic leader, but this Keynote datapoint should be of concern.