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I think most in our office, in one way or another, believe Google is trying to reign in referral traffic by making webmasters scared to link to other websites. By limiting links to other websites, people would be more likely to use a search product.
if i want a product i search amazon.
And this is what a lot of people do as well, myself included. The beauty of a search engine is that it can take this into account and provide users with a set of diversified results that omit the normal destinations that people already use. When Google gives Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube, etc. all the top listings, with host crowding to boot, it really is a lost opportunity to please the advanced end user. What I see in the serps right now makes me want to search elsewhere, and I suspect these serps are training other users to do just that. Seriously, how many people have not heard of Amazon or shopped there? How many people want a definition of a product they are searching for? To me, Google is just regurgitating the same data that we know exists. The whole point of search is to find something somewhere that you don't already know about. Google is miserably failing in these regards.
The whole point of search is to find something somewhere that you don't already know about.