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[edited by: tedster at 6:51 pm (utc) on Dec 1, 2010]
Everyone is acting as if Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy etc are completely passive in this.
The shopping SERPS are impacting more this year because exact matches are turned down.
Replaced by unrelated garbage on amazon, buy, infomercial pages and expired domains.
And amazon will take over those spots even though it's blatant dulicate content. If google referenced the "sold by" they will find the same text for the same products on the sellers site. Is it collusion? No, but it's scary.
I did a search a few minutes ago for flathead widget. I got a fat head poster site in 1-3. It's yahoo circa 2005. Instead of returning what I looked for, I got 10 listings that had zero relation to the item. Home depot and lowes aren't even on the list after this weekend.
Personally I think it's time for Government intervention.
Amazon is getting aggressive at their SEO. Just recently, they introduced API calls limits for affiliates to 2500 per hour and up to 25K per hour based on your performance. However, the way it is structured, you have to be a large earning affiliate to hit that level. 99% of the affiliates will never see that level.
The effect of this is there are many affiliate sites out there using the API to generate entire websites that would in turn out rank Amazon itself.
I wonder if anyone has seen any unintended fallout from the algo change that just rolled out last night.