Google Fights Microsoft, Loses To Yahoo

Google is a very powerful thing, whether you're referring to the search engine or the company that offers it. Microsoft feels Google's breath on its neck now, and is purchasing web-based companies to help them get into the lucrative online advertising business that is Google's strength. And Google continues to  buy companies that can help it assemble a web-based alternative to Microsoft's  lucrative suite of office applications. But while they were busy clawing and scratching at each other, Yahoo snuck up on the outside.

Data from the University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) showed Yahoo had seen its customer satisfaction score rise 3.9 percent from a year ago to 79 out of 100 points, while Google's rating fell about 3.7 percent to 78 points.

While Google remains the dominant Web search engine, Yahoo's Internet presence is gaining user approval for its network of Web sites, e-mail, social networks and other features, according to the survey.

The positive perception of Yahoo stems from a relaunch of the main site and its various offshoots which are now gaining ground, said Larry Freed, chief executive of ForeSee Results, which sponsored the ACSI report.

Making money and garnering high marks in consumer surveys are not always the same thing. And as far as the search box goes, Google is still king by a wide margin. But Yahoo has decided to go with " if you build it, they will come," and at least as far as its users are concerned, they've done a great job at it.