I think the key thing here is, instead of blocking out a portion of the search results page, that might be an indicator of looking at a different search engine. It's what I've been doing more and more.
I haven't used Google in more than year except to check results or for an occasional long tail query. Bing gives me almost everything I need. The purpose of this thread is simply to address a theme I've been reading a lot about in other threads -- big brands dominating results.
Big brands are there because it's a no fail solution that backs up Google now wanting trusted, established, non MFA type sites showing up in the key areas.
If Google really wanted to push MFA out of the picture they could do it very easily without pushing big brands up. As someone who has a background in desktop applications programming I know it wouldn't be difficult at all to parse for AdSense IDs on a page and handle those types of pages with extra scrutiny. They could work something like that into their algorithm very easily -- it's programming 101.
Afterall you're saying it without saying it
Of course I did. It was very intentional. But I wanted to make it somewhat vague to take the edge off it so as to not discourage debate. If I wrote this thread with all the "matter of fact" traits of why the big brands are where they are there would have been little room left for debate. This way I can discover what the perception is from other points of view, and who stands where, for what reasons. I'm not claiming to know all the answers I'm just sharing my observations in the hope that we can better understand Google's intention so we can plan accordingly.
When you or others go elsewhere because of poor search results, those ads get less and less eyes
Yeah but the problem is that Google has built up years of trust and the flock has been well trained. It used to be that you could almost most certainly expect to find what you were looking in the organic results of page one. Google was very good at that and there is no reason that they cannot continue to be good at that except that they don't want to because it is of no benefit to them. The typical user, after they perform a search these days, probably sit there staring at the screen with a glazed over look in there eyes waiting for their browsers to automatically take them to a relevant result. As they slowly emerge from their delusional state they realize they are going to have to think for themselves so their eyeballs begin wandering to the right and left in search of the keywords because they already know what they are searching for is available on those big brand sites -- they want alternate choices. Google is happy to provide them in the form of AdWords. This is all about bait and switch. Unlike most of us in this forum who analyze these situations under a microscope, because of the nature of our minds, it will take a few years before the crowds catch on.
In a sense what you're saying is that Google is intentionally making their search suck for the sake of Adwords
Yes, but you are entitled to your opinion to the contrary. The content farm thing is smoke and mirrors.
I'm taking into account all of what you are saying and will study that for a while. My initial thought though, but I haven't let it stew for a while, is that like anything else there will be exceptions. I'm going to try to learn something new from what you've explained.
Maybe I'm just not reading between the lines deep enough but I didn't see a point in what you've said. Is it that your client sites have received boosts in SERPs by acting like big brands -- with real tangible benefits like better sales and lower advertising costs because they've been able to ease off on their AdWords spending?
Yeah I know. The point is Google is well aware of the local potential and they could very easily promote them to page one but they, without any doubt in my mind, are suppressing them so as to encourage getting businesses on board for the monthly hook of Google Places advertising. Not to direct this at you in particular but why is it so difficult for anyone to see that?!
I don't think there is any mash-up between Panda, brands and Adwords - or any major conspiracy to push organic results down.
You must get joyful glee out of twisting that knife? You have a strong tendency of getting into threads early when anything is perceived as anti-Google. The bias is very strong and very obvious. Other than that you have some valid points that I'll come back to when this thread appears to have meandered it's course because to respond to them now would get myself too far off topic and therefore the thread as a whole may wander. I'm just as guilty about having a difficult time keeping my responses on-topic sometimes.
You are as tenacious about defending Google as I am about my spirituality (and I know I disturb some members). Please once again I'm asking you to drop that conspiracy theory crap for once and for all. In exchange I'll do my best to back off the essence of who I am and refrain from dropping spiritual references. Truce? I hope my English clear enough.