In this week’s Content & Coffee with Brafton, Executive Communications Associate Ted Karczewski shares some juicy gossip about Google. Apparently, recent results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index handed out grades to search engines for 2012, and Google earned its lowest mark yet – a C+. Watch the video and read the transcript below. 

Now, I can’t totally blame Google for dropping the ball last year – the company certainly had a lot on its plate. But what I think’s most interesting about the latest metrics from the ACSI is that a lot of industry insiders are saying the 6 percent year-over-year decline in satisfaction is due to paid content. There’s too much of it, no one knows what’s paid and what’s organic, and SERPs look different almost every other day. There’s no consistency, and the overall user experience is declining.

It seems that as Google’s Matt Cutts routinely publishes video content touting the importance of UX, the search engine itself is struggling to find the sweet spot. While no one is rushing out the door to embrace Bing or Yahoo with open arms just yet, this data puts a lot into perspective when it comes to SEO and UX. They’re both extremely difficult practices to employ, and marketers can’t expect to hit it out of the ballpark on their first try.

What I do know is organic content creation is still clearly the best way to reach prospects online. Consumers are using search engines to discover new products and services, but they’re not so interested in the ads featured all over SERPs. Position informative content, optimized for search, in plain view, and you’ll likely capture those clicks you desire.

I’m not saying paid content isn’t effective in some cases, nor am I suggesting you avoid PPC at all costs, but assess risk wisely. If prospects are getting annoyed at Google for ads and poor UX, what makes you think they won’t turn on your brand next?

Catch you next week, and happy content marketing!

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.