turbocharged - 11:44 pm on Jul 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
Wouldn't it be more productive, from Google's point of view, if site owners invested in content instead of spending their money on SEO?
It would be more profitable for Google to have more Adwords users.
A site like Amazon.com or Booking.com, which is packed with user reviews, will have an inherent advantage over a mom-and-pop e-commerce site that lacks a megasite's ability to attract user-generated content. By the standards of Google Web Search (and from a Google user's point of view), a typical content-rich page from Amazon should rank higher than the equivalent page from a small e-commerce site that probably contains little more than boilerplate text. From Google's content-oriented perspective, the boost given to sites like Amazon.com or WalMart.com or Booking.com isn't a bug, it's a feature.
Many of Amazon's reviews are not accurate and/or are for the completely wrong model of product being sold. Buyers of products that Amazon ships have an extraordinarily difficult time getting support, whereas consumers purchasing their goods at a mom and pop can normally just pick up the phone. Also, let us not forget how Amazon hijacks products from those who no longer want to sell their goods on Amazon. For years that product will be active, despite the fact that the manufacturer quit selling it on Amazon and Amazon can no longer supply it to their visitors.
For informational topics (my stomping ground), Google's standards for quality assessment haven't been too aggressive.
I would agree. Doing a basic search for exterior drain pipes in Google, I saw a listing ranking in the top 3 for Ask (the search engine). Clicking on it I went to the Ask's answers site, where the answer quoted is linked to a Yahoo answers page. Ironically, all of this clicking around to find the source and it was wrong. The holes in an exterior PVC stormwater drain pipe are pointed down and not up as the marked "best answer" in Yahoo noted. Regardless, I normally never rely on one source because I have found that the internet is the greatest source of misinformation a person can use - if not researched properly.