I have been following Google results for commerce keywords for the last 5 years, and I think I have never seen so little diversity across the domains ranking on the first page. For many consumer products (electronics, hardware, home appliances) it is just the same set of domains (big brands) ranking on top.
The emphasis Google is putting on big brands is nothing new, but it seems like the brands boost is becoming more and more pronounced, especially in the light of the recent Panda update.
And I am wondering, hasn't Google overdone it to the point where it is hurting itself? To the point where there is no need to search anymore cause the result is known a-priori?
I believe that personally, as a consumer, I behave in a bit different way than before. Just as I have never used Google when shopping for a book, and headed directly to The Store instead, now I am not using google when shopping for electronic gadgets. I could search, but I know exactly what's there, and I already know the one store that I prefer, Is it just me?
Of course, if looking for "asymptotic equipartition property proof" Google is indispensable, but that kind of keyword is not what brings them money. But if you are out shopping - it is all amazon, bestbuy, target, sears, and after the Panda update, even ebay.
So why shopping with google?