turbocharged - 1:02 pm on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)
Google and Amazon are members of a Washington D.C. lobbying group called "The Internet Association." Although they claim to be the voice of the internet economy, participation is limited to many of the same big companies that dominate the serps (Facebook, eBay, etc.). I've always had concerns of how this group, which collectively controls the majority of online traffic, would squeeze small businesses out of the competition to earn sales from consumers.
It seems like google takes amazon result pages to pimp up the query and match all following results to fit the amazon result. No other brands following the next 2-3 result pages!
Most affiliate sites were removed from the top pages in Google's index over the last year. Many Amazon pages filled these voids, and let's not forget that Amazon does not produce or stock most of the products they sell. Amazon's corporate earnings suggest that their affiliate's loss in traffic did not harm them at all. There tends to be a preference to pimp Amazon pages as you noted. Whether they deserve to benefit from host crowding is a different story. Host crowding has excluded many small businesses from competing in organic search.
Host crowding may be here to stay. It's a lot easier for Google to limit the top 100 or so results to a handful of websites based on trust rather than content. I'm sure it takes less computing power to accomplish this and nobody in that "Internet Association" seems to have been harmed by any of Google's updates. Conspiracy? Maybe. But one thing is for certain, no small businesses are allowed in a group that proclaims to be the voice of the internet economy. They put small businesses on mute.