The audience loves its brands

More evidence that brand matters on the Internet — maybe more so than in the non-digital realm.
Participants in this study ranked the performance of brand name search engines Yahoo! and Google higher than the not-really-a-brand-MSN Live and an unbranded search engine. All, however, returned the same results.
Interestingly, Yahoo! ranked highest, even through many in the study group used Google regularly. I wonder if that has to do with Yahoo!’s traditionally heavier advertising and marketing. Yahoo! has done quite a bit of branding advertising; I can’t recall any from Google, although it’d be hard to find an internet user that doesn’t “google.”
Whatever factors influence the choice of Yahoo! over Google, the implication of the study is nurturing a trusted, positive brand image online is money and time well-spent.
Positive brand identification = Loyal Audience. Audience = $$$.
I’ve seen some research — and I’d like to know more — that TV station Web sites have higher credibility ratings than newspaper Web sites. Obviously brand “feelings” are at work at some level. What I don’t know is what factors are influencing the perception.
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  1. Interesting, a quick check of my web stats reveals that Google searches make up 67.7% of the hits that I get and Yahoo brings in only 6%. I have noticed an upward trend lately with “Windows Live” searchers, which comes in at 12.16% total hits. Regular MSN and AOL make up the rest.

  2. Yeah, mine would be similar. I don’t really know why Yahoo! came out rated higher in this study, but I do think people rely on Google as a brand while most of the general search engines pretty much return the same results.
    It’s also amazing how many people use the Google or Yahoo! search box to search for a known URL instead of just typing it in the address bar of the browser. Oh well.

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