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I checked a couple of other consumer products categories and much the same results. It's like these price-comparison/paid advertiser sites and ebay have just about completely overtaken FAST's results. And they are full of refreshes.
I would love to hear other thoughts on this: a search for "rock music" is quite eye-popping. Try other consumer products. This change is alarming and could render FAST a complete waste in no time.
I can't imagine Fast (and Lycos) can maintain any kind of a searcher user base with these kinds of results.
Is there a way of getting through to someone and letting them know? I'd hate to see a really promising search engine bite the dust.
My name is Knut Magne Risvik, I am the Director of Engineering at FAST. Just wanted to let you know that none of these results are "PartnerSite" listings in our Index, but merely a spam attack. Thanks to your notifications, we have removed for the next reindexing (which is taking place now, and will be live within the next 3 days).
Your feedback is highly valued.
- Knut Magne Risvik
To be fair to eBay, this looks more like a spam attack by a business who uses eBay to sell, rather than directly by them. There may be a lot more nonsense like this, as bigger players start to use eBay to move merchandise - and this is a growing strategy in recent months.
Looking at the "spam" we talked about for eBay links, we have no believe that this is a SEO by eBay itself, rather by someone using eBay as a sales channel. We have a tight collaboration with eBay on the search technology side, and this is clearly not part of what we are doing together with them :-)
- Knut Magne
Can I ask on the 'partner sites' program, if someone submits the number of URL's/pages that are allowed through the program, is it not logical to assume their site will 'dominate' the top spots in their field?
I am making the assumption that, for example, an auction site will have great number of pages that would conform (possibly by accident, maybe through good optimisation) to many search phrases where 'auction' is used.
I wonder how/if Fast is ensuring that the mass indexing of partner sites will not result in SERPS becoming narrow and not delivering a good cross section of options, as you do currently.
Please forgive me in advance if I am misunderstanding your Partner program.
IMHO your actions in responding to the 'spam' reported here makes Fast one of the most credible and important search resources for those who play fair and respect the rules.
It was a phenomenal attack on the engine and I can only imagine the effort they have put in to wipe the slate clean.
This was a good day in the SE world and much applause to FAST staff worldwide for the accomplishment.