WSJ.com - Google's Rivals Narrow Search Gap "Internet users like Google Inc. a lot – but now they are warming up to its Web-search rivals.
Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. successfully narrowed Google's lead in user satisfaction during 2004, according to a survey of 2,000 Web users. Survey respondents said they were happier with search results from Yahoo and Microsoft than in a similar survey last spring, and more likely to use those sites regularly.
The study is the first evidence that changes by Google's rivals are influencing how consumers perceive and use search sites. It is further proof that, despite the hype around Google's August initial public offering and its soaring share price, the search battle is far from won. Over time, some analysts believe, improvements by Google's rivals will help them gain market share and ad revenue, putting them in a better position to compete with the search leader."