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Yahoo beats Google in customer satisfaction survey

Survey shows Yahoo as search engine/portal inching out Google on customer satisfaction.

Good news for Yahoo: a new survey finds that customers are more satisfied with Yahoo than the other search engines and portals.

According to the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index, Yahoo's score in the index rose 3.9 percent over the past year to 79 while Google's score fell 3.7 percent to 78.

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But it's hard to really get a read on things because the survey combines two different categories: search engines and portals. No question, Google by far leads the pack when it comes to search and it is not a portal. Yahoo is the leading portal and second when it comes to search. So it is on the basis of Yahoo's portal strength that the annual survey finds Yahoo inching out Google for the first time.

Having said that, the results may still bode well for Yahoo. In the past, the scores have served as an indicator of growth and stock prices, and thus a predictor of future success or failure, according to study authors.

And what does Google think of a study that shows Yahoo inching them out? A Google spokeswoman declined to comment beyond this statement: "We are continually working to provide the best online experience for our users and welcome strong competition that helps drive market innovation."

As for the other search engines/portals, Microsoft's score was up 1.4 percent, Ask's rose 5.6 percent and AOL's dropped 9.5 percent, according to the Index.