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This 274 message thread spans 10 pages: 274 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 10 > >     
More eBay, Amazon, Dealtime, Epinions, etc. in Results
Side Effects of Improved Dynamic Spidering?

 3:21 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

For a lot of the words I track, I've noticed a marked increase in the number of meta shopping sites: eBay, Amazon, Dealtime, Epinions, CNET Shopper, Buy.com and even Google Answers in the results.

Is this a side-effect of improved dynamic spidering, or have the web developers for the sites wised-up (en masse)?

Random forum posts and PDF's sometimes show up in the top 10 for words that are pricey at overture ($5+).

My hope is that this is just a temporary situation before the full update occurs.



 5:41 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, this is absolutely bad.

My site used to rank quite good, but now all the top positions are dominated by amazon, and those "so-called" price comparision sites, which contains no information but the list of a few companies and their prices


 6:00 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

If they're going to allow price comparisson in the results they should at least put Froogle in there. :)


 6:08 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Absolutely, I really can not seem the value of the price comparision sites, while the actual sites with real technical & support information ranked so low!

Do you think is it because these sites are stuffed with the same keyword? Maybe Google have dropped the top ceiling for keywords density, otherwise most of them should be punished!


 6:14 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've noticed a lot of Amazon and eBay listings too. But even worse than that is a lot of Netster listings. Netster is ranking high for several key phrases I watch. Google listing another search engine in their results?!? Something doesn't seem right.


 6:56 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've seen AOL results on G! for some time now, but what really irks me is the recent influx of highly-ranking (i.e. top 10 results) Amazon pages, for products that have zero relevance to a three-word search phrase. We're talking about searches "bulk refurbished widgets" returning the Amazon listing for "The Three Little Pigs" at #4.


 7:30 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Slud, I have always been afried of that day where we only see the big companys first in every SE, we can see a little of it in paid listings everytime you make a search you get the same result and that suck.

I like to see different result even if it a pure affiliate site, they are sometimes better then the real thing.



 8:01 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, maybe Amazon, Ebay and Dealtime have some sort of special arrangement with Google now, which also benefit all other price comparision sites


 8:35 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

The inclusion of all these new pages ie. amazon and pdf will kill google.
Had a few of the people I work ask me what the heck is a PDF.
They are just average web surfers. I personally thought everyone knew what a pdf was but I guess some people don't.

For me, this view pdf as html does not work. every time google converts a pdf to html you can't read it because it is too small.
and when I changed my screen resolution 800x600 I still could not get a clear image and I have an 18" screen.

Google has done a lot of strange things lately but this has to be the worst. This is the only change can remember when average web users and not SEOs and webmasters have took notice and are displeased.


 8:55 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's just more evidence of what we've been seeing for months. The engineer types have locked the content guys in the Googleplex basement.

Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.


 8:57 pm on Aug 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I guess I could appreciate Google trying to be filetype agnostic (i.e. serving up good info regardless of whate kind of file it's in), but c'mon PDF is unfit for human consumption [useit.com].

I'd hate for Google's reputation to be tarnished by Adobe's browser plugin. How many average Joes out there must think "Google just froze up my browser" when a PDF takes minutes to load?


 5:00 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes indeed, there's been a thread in the Google News forum about this (I've no idea why it doesn't show here).

If you want a book from Amazon (for example) you'll go to Amazon and search for it. Or you may well hit it on the site you visit because there are so many darned affiliates.

What the vast majority of people DON'T want is Amazon books (etc) flooding the returns everytime they do a search for widgets. In some areas that is exactly what is happening. Ditto eBay, ditto PDFs, ditto MS-Word docs, etc.

I did a search and there was ONE normal web site on the front page. Yes, ONE! That really is crappy.

Try getting that reality into Google's corporate head though. They seem obsessed, as SteveB infers, in simply sticking in technology for the sake of it without too much regard for search impact. Either that, or their QA department is on strike.

What on earth are they thinking to let this one out?


 5:16 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should"

Amen, Brother!


 5:31 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Agree, if Google starts having Amazon type sites as it top search results it sends a real lound message that "content in no longer king". Let's hope it's temp hic.

PDF Arrrhhh! I hate them. So many times I have clicked on them by mistake then have to wait a minute or more for my PC to unfeeze.



 6:36 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I do mot mind PDF or DOC files, sometimes they do turned out to have more detailed relevant information.

But those Amazon, Dealtime, Ebay, and other price comparision site result is totally un-acceptable


 8:17 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> if Google starts having Amazon type sites as it top search results it sends a real lound message that "content in no longer king". <<

Along with the message that Google will no longer be king in the future if it caries on like this... this is hardly the first time they have goofed their SERPS in the last few months. It's becoming a habit.

As for PDF's and DOCs, they really are a pain. Not so bad when they were infrequent, but now they are bunched and cluttered... just spoilers. Why no tab?

Frankly, for the first time ever, I have started to use FAST today... and I know... there are plenty of people out there who will be telling me "I told you so".

I fear that Google has lost its focus, which is actually a common feature in search engine history.


 10:32 am on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't mind finding ebay or kelkoo or whatever in the natural search engine results if it links to a relevant page. But how many times (especially with kelkoo and dealtime) has is happened that you search for "widgets", click on the link, and then you get a page that says "Sorry, no results were found for 'widgets'"? That *realy* P-s me of! Surely that's the worst form of spam that gets through google?
And I must agree with some others on the board, I think it's become worse in the last few weeks.


 2:11 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm in agreement that G doesn't look in it's best shape at the moment in certain areas - others do look fine - but I'm sure these PDF's etc will be cleared up sooner or later if irrelevant.

The main reason for my post - I just can't see where Google's competition is going to come from - in the UK the other SE's / portals have become so heavily involved in PPC - I can't see them being able to afford to compete with pure search- the key feature of Google is that "Natural" search results are still prominent - no other SE's can say that.

Users have done their talking which is why Google is so huge.

And I can't see Teoma taking over either - this is a shining example of buy 50-60 domains, cross link every page and watch yourself go to no 1. - IMO - based on the SERPS I look at.

Just trying to play Devils Advocat - that G still is the best out there!

However, a few comments from GG on the "rolling update" theory would make very interesting reading!


 2:35 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I totally agree. Since last week, I saw a lot of Amazon and priced comparaison sites in first 10 results!. You put hundreds pages of specific related contents and you see thoses type of results just above you, this make me mad.


 2:37 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is this a side-effect of improved dynamic spidering, or have the web developers for the sites wised-up (en masse)?

I assume that this is a side effect of more dynamic crawling. A lot of the pages on these sites are created by a user search and then the site links to this term as a popular search or whatever and as the page is linked to then it can enter the index. (This was discussed recently)

If google can (does already?) start crawling and indexing urls like below then this will open the floodgates (already open?) for dynamically created pages to enter the index.



If you then take the q= result and dynamically change a few terms in <h> tags <b> tags etc I am sure it can get through the duplicate filter.


 2:46 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Is this a side-effect of improved dynamic spidering, or have the web developers for the sites wised-up (en masse)?

It is a combination of both IMHO.

content in no longer king

Er... Hang on. What are these sites providing? Isn't it that they have a lot of content?

If I want to buy a DVD I don't care if Amazon or GSMA (generic small affiliate site) comes up - I want to buy the DVD. I'll check through the results and get the best price, from whatever site. Why shouldn't the big players be allowed to compete like everyone else? We've been doing this for a good while now - they've finally cottoned on, everyone knew it was going to happen - but we can't go crying to our mothers. We just need to get with the program and compete.

Yes, maybe Amazon, Ebay and Dealtime have some sort of special arrangement with Google now, which also benefit all other price comparision sites

That is a very silly thing to say - of course they don't!


 2:53 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)



And as far as some of the content sites are concerned I am sure that lots of us have asked for a link or got a link or coverage from the content site and are happy enough for the site to exist for that benefit. (But when it starts to rank well!)


 3:07 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> I just can't see where Google's competition is going to come from <<

The problem may be that Google can't see it either. However, how about:

a) Yahoo, once they replace Google onboard

b) MSN... in the unlikely even that they can bypass their greed for quick return and dump the PPC mentality

c) An old timer like AV, with a clean up and prime time advertising

d) A yet to be unveiled newcomer

The point I made above was basically that the decline of a search engine has almost always been precluded with this sort of over-confidence: the assumption that they can take liberties with their returns and get away with it.

Often it has been too many ads. Sometimes accompanied by neglect.

The current situation at Google does remind of this. With all the junk on board (Amazon, PDF, etc) the returns look very poor in many areas compared to FAST. Sorry, Google apologists, but that is true.

The issue though is even bigger than that. The real issue is that this is just the latest in a catalog. A trend... and a trend is usually caused by an underlying change, in this case perhaps a change in attitude and focus.

Maybe, as other engines have fallen partly through over focus on PPC and ads, Google may be stumbling because it is more interested in Adwords/Adsense/etc than in keeping its true engine clean and sparkly. Think about it. Do you think this sort of thing would have happened 2 years ago? I don't.

The company focus may well have changed. As they have concentrated on the DIRECT earners, they may have lost pride in, and commitment to, their core product... which of course would be folly... because as we all know, without that they are nothing. But the same could have been said of almost all the former search engine leaders.

OK, all this is speculation, but the signs are clearly there. Just look back at all the errors and problems over the last 6 months. Look at the state of returns today, with all the junk mentioned above, the index pages that come and go, the toolbar out of date, and so and so forth (SteveB seems to have a good list).

Again, I do hope I am wrong, but one thing is for sure... this ISN'T the Google of old.


 3:10 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can not see a listing of retailers with prices is good content.

I agree this is the side result of more dynamic crawling by freshbot. (Sorry I did make a silly mistake in the previous messages)


 3:21 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can not see a listing of retailers with prices is good content.

I wonder if users actually agree, some do some probably dont.

But one thing that you used to be able to achieve on the Internet is if you were number one in the serps you could probably get a sale even though you were not the cheapest.

I think a lot of people would say that there are a lot of good content price comparison magazines (Talking offline - Which, Parkers Car Magazine)


 3:25 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can not see a listing of retailers with prices is good content.

If it is what people want, then surely it is. I want a dvd, I get a page with prices for that dvd from different retailers. I can't see how a search result can get much better than that.

Google apologists

Nope. I know what Google wants, it is the same thing which most of us wouldn't mind some more of - money. If they crawl more dynamic pages they will get better content and better results, simply because a lot of useful content is hidden by the fact that it is dynamic. More useful results = more users coming back = more money.

What is so junky about, for example, Amazon results anyhow? I've seen them coming up when I want to buy various things - which is quite appropriate and handy really - because what comes up is product pages for the products I searched for. This is what surfers want and it is what Google wants.


 3:29 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

As someone who earns money from the Amazon affiliate scheme I have self-interest in seeing Amazon come as low as possible in the SERPS!

I've just been checking the SERPS for a Metallica album where the Amazon link was top. The URL given is the Amazon /browse/ URL that appears as you browse though the music styles or new releases. I checked the backlinks and thwere are 60 - and most of these links are to the /obidos/ASIN/ redirect that Associates use to link to an album.

Now, 60 (PR4+) backlinks to a page in Google for a fairly new album is very good and obviously will give them top place. It looks to me as if Google have improved their spidering so that they can conect the associate links and convert all the PR (or link text) to the Amazon browse page. (I may be wrong - perhaps it always worked this way?)

Good on Google for their cleverness, good on Amazon for getting all those links. But poor mislead associates if they have created and promoted a page about that album because they have also guaranteed that Amazon will beat them in the SERPS. Associates are going to have to get cleverer or dump Amazon and rely on Adsense (it pays a lot better at the moment)


 3:44 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

If it is what people want, then surely it is. I want a dvd, I get a page with prices for that dvd from different retailers.

Ah yes but that assumes something rather interesting about the "price comparison" / "product review" sector:

1) Those sites offer significantly different prices, if they don't then site a is just a copy of site b to all intends and purposes.

2) The prices being offered are the cheapest you can get, if they don't then there's no point in that site existing.

In my experience a lot of sites involved in these systems don't offer good value for money as they simply poll four or so major sites and offer no real changes to the base pricing. In my eyes this makes them useless results since I can either go direct to a retailer or hunt around for a specialist who sells them cheaper than normal.

If/when I can get rid of the spammy sites like the above from the SERPs the easier it is for me to actually try to find a *good* deal.

- Tony


 4:33 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

A search I did today for a popular widget, the SERPs were suprisingly very cluttered (and I've noticed this trend on many other SERPs recently too):

1) kelkoo.co.uk
2) widget developer (PR9)
3) amazon.fr
4) amazon.co.uk
5) epinions.com
6) amazon.com
7) kelkoo.nl
8) amazon.de

Fine, I don't mind seeing Amazon etc once, but seeing every different country spin-off website they have clutters the results. How many times do I have to see "translate this page"? (How user friendly is this anyways? A look at Google's click-stats would be interesting.)

I would have thought these international webpages that Google knows are in foreign languages would have a sizeable penalty on Google.COM.


 4:51 pm on Aug 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

My first reaction was to run for my pitch fork and torch. As a consumer I am getting sick of epinions dominating serps. I tenn took a step back and did some searches.

I did a search for the proper name of a world famous wizard and amazon was number 7. I then tacked dvd on to the end of the string and as expected amazon was #1.

Almost what I expected.

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