shazam - 1:21 pm on Jul 10, 2011 (gmt 0)
i dont think its that. if people search for "football book" and google knows that amazon is the most popular bookshop, it makes much more sense for them to show four football books from amazon at the top, rather than one football book from four different shops.
If I wanted to go to Amazon.com, then I would go to Amazon.com.
A fine example it is. The normal top of page adwords disguised as and pushing down the organics with an extended "site-map" style listing, four results from the same domain, a "news" listing, and "shopping results" section, all pushing down the legitimate number 2-9 organic results. The #2 is actually then 10th spot down on my screen, I am counting the top adwords since the majority of users don't realize these are actually paid placements and think they are google's top suggestions for the query. The #2 in this case, being 10 spots down, was essentially forced to bid on adwords if they wanted traffic for this query even though they rightfully should be at #2 and getting a reasonable amount of traffic. Great example.
These 'improvements' such as 'news', 'shopping', 'youtube' etc... all have the desired result of pushing down the legit organic results. Showing four results from a single domain also quite effectively accomplishes this same goal.
The writing is on the wall, there are already many queries where getting a top five organic listing will not bring your company much quality traffic. This will surely continue.