netmeg - 4:46 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
Interesting, Matt Cutts is addressing some of these issues at SESSF just as I type this. Use that hashtag if you're on the twitter (or wait for the inevitable roundups on the industry blogs) Basically he says what he's always said - Search wants to be Switzerland, not influenced by money or their own products, but the best results for users. Believe it or not as you wish, but that's the official line.
He also said that telling people not to SEO their sites was a mistake on his part, but I digress
I realize they are an "authority" site for all products; which in my opinion they are not.
Of course they're not. But they are a big brand, the biggest ecommerce brand there is. And the more I study on it, the more it seems to me that Google serves up a big brand like Amazon first *NOT* just because they're a big brand, but because they haven't been able to identify a better authority for the query. That doesn't mean there isn't one, it means that for whatever reason, Google hasn't figured it out.
For example, I just did a search on a particular type of large power tool. Amazon came up first. Then Wikipedia, then a popular DIY blog. Big brand sites started at position #4.
Now clearly Amazon is not an authority site for buying this power tool, and my query was vague enough that Google offers me both transactional and information options (Wiki & blog). But still, I went and looked at the big brand pages that came up for that same query (starting with result #4) and they were beyond lame. The "buying guide" one put out looked like it was written by a one of those article spinning programs. Its competitors sites are all just as bad. And these are some pretty huge nationwide brands you'd all recognize. I would consider any or all of them as potentially authority sites, but they sure don't give off the signals. Probably the only reason they were ranking as high as they were was the fact that they were honking big brands. So the brand part gets you *some* benefit of the doubt, but not enough. After all, the DIY blog outranked the Big Brands, it just couldn't quite make it past Amazon.
You have to BE the authority for whatever it is your doing, and then you have to make sure you LOOK like the authority. Otherwise, Amazon wins every time.