Brand claims; Is Yahoo really quicker?

Yahoo India claims through a Radio spot that they turn in the quickest results as a search engine. I checked. Google's faster. Google took 0.36 secs to turn in results for a search on Ayurveda+Kerala. Yahoo clocked 0.50 secs.

Now, does that bother me? No. It isn't about the time taken. Its about the claim. Consumers are lured by brands that make claims. At times the claims are something that can be checked on. That is, if the claim involves measurable parameters. Like the Yahoo one. At other times, the claims can't be checked, as they ain't measurable. Or even if they are, consumers in no way can do it on their own. Take Pond's Age miracle's 7 day challenge. The 'power ingredient' that Ponds claims is behind Pond's age miracle is CLA - Conjugated Linoleic Acid - a natural, non-irritant first discovered by Pond's in 1996. But then, how does one know really know if the wrinkles are off? Maybe the creases just dull for a period of time. Maybe its our minds playing tricks on ourselves.

Brands ought to be careful with claims, especially if they can be checked on. Brands can afford to pump up their proclamations if their claims are more perceptual than real. If its 'real' issues that the brand bandies about, it better be careful. Else it can even face Consumer outrage.


SG said…
Hi Prof. Ray,

For a normal user its not about .36 seonds or .50 seconds. Its about relevant results and higher up on the results page.

I am not sure but Yahoo might claim that their results are relevant and are amongst the first ones visible.

And its about that positioning. Most of the shampoos dont make your hair stronger but its about owning that claim to "strong hair". Similarly yahoo might be claiming stake to "fastest search" before anyone else does.

For me, it is the relevance to the search topic that matters most.
A 0.14 seconds delay does not matter to me at all.

Google scores over other searche engines with the relevancy factor and also the support services that it offers.
Unknown said…

Yahoo gives as many as 3,090,000 results and Google throws up only 232,000, a mere 7.5%! May be the fastest is not the tag to hold on to. May be the guarantee of relevant results in the top 10 is important.

Making a claim is as important as proving it. I dont think brands as big as Yahoo claim without checking. May be this claim can be proved and this claim might actually bring more visitors to the site.

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