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Searching a product shows reviews, what others are saying, specs, etc

     
1:18 am on Jul 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Good Christ. I'm sure Bing is doing the same thing, but this keeps on chugging along. I've never seen this, but perhaps you have. I now and seeing that sidebar, "sponsored", but now complete with specs and...reviews!? These reviews or portions of them under "what people are saying", shows up in the sidebar. So there are like 2,000 reviews in this product, when you click that link with the stars, you essentially get an Amazon or typical ratings listing page like on Google play, etc, where you can sort or pick reviews based on stars. Yes, the source or the info is listed, such as 50 reviews "plucked" from Best Buy, etc. So you can show reviews by source.

Now WTF is going on. I know that Amazon.com tells associates that they CANNOT use user review on their own sites. Those are the property of Amazon and as you might expect, they take ownership. Now it appears that any review written in open for being used on Google.com.

I don't even know what to say. Nothing is better than getting a free resource to run a business. Like free ingredients for food and you create a menu, serve the food for free, but make the money on all the drink. I'm actually quite disgusted by what I'm seeing today. Not just Google I'm sure. Perhaps Bing started. No idea. I just know that somebody is right. Is Amazon right about their ownership of their content or all these other guys a bunch of idiots?
10:57 am on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I am wondering if anybody else seeing this? I tried

olympus camera e-m10

and I am getting reviews mixed with usual SERPs in the main part of the SERPs, but not on the sidebar (google.com and google.co.uk).

If I search for

olympus camera e-m10 review

I get mostly reviews in the main organic part of the SERPs.

But I am not seeing what you have described.
1:18 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I am wondering if anybody else seeing this?


Yes, I saw it the other day but I can't remember what I was searching for however I do remember being surprised when I did see what MrSavage describes.
2:04 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've had a night to digest this. To me, this is a case of sticky fingers. I would say it's outrageous even. It is absolutely incredible. I can say this though and it's just my opinion. I know Cutts isn't working rights now. I bet if they had internal meetings about where things were going and this was coming up? And obviously it was, because these things don't happen overnight. I'm just saying that search became a content hunter rather than getting people places, it must have started to become how can we get that content effectively and how can we get people what they want without having to leave the "search" pages. Cutts was about spam, but I think he also was about morality. I'm completely speculating, but I'm allowed to do that. Who knows why he's truly not there, but I always go back to his comment about whether people should be compensated for their content being used in things like knowledge graphs. If I build a house from trees in your forest? I mean I had to go in, cut them down, prepare them and then hammer them into place. Sure, your trees, but I had to do the work to make it workable for building the walls of my house...

I mean look at it. Amazon says to all affiliates, don't you dare use our customer reviews information on your sites. Well why the hell do you think they have said that? Obviously it's because THOSE HAVE VALUE. I'm an idiot if indeed Google has lifted Amazon user reviews for this "project", but I saw every site on the planet except Amazon on there. Oh yes, you can even sort reviews by website! Isn't that amazing!

Oh yes there are 7,000 user reviews! Read them all on Google.com. Except for Amazon because well, I guess it's their property...

So talk solutions? I guess it's dialing back possible investments on websites or wait it out. Is the sky falling? Depends. If Bing for example was doing this? Who would give a S. But when the dominant market force of 90% starts doing it, it's become game, set, match. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. I'm not done with this because obviously the internet and topics is vast. However, I know that I'm not a partner in this.

It's really the worst example of sticky fingers I've seen. Image search? That was nothing really, was it?
2:43 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Image search? That was nothing really, was it?


Hmmm ... it was when they took 85% of my traffic straight from underneath me and no one could do a damned thing about it. Copyrighted images, no such thing to Google, they don't give a damn.

So how's this new thing going to work out? Those with the most reviews wins? Again they don't give a damn, wait until all the reviews you see are solely for their products.

Honestly, I am so disillusioned with The Net these days I have no incentive to create anything since I know someone will come along, scrape me, rehash it and Google will bless them especially if they're on Blogger.
3:07 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Please someone post a screenshot if possible. Though it's hard to comment without seeing this, it appears this is another overreach. And while Bing may not be doing it yet, they typically follow Google's lead.
4:35 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm guessing that in some form or another that Bing is doing this. I've said before, it's always better to have bedfellows. When there is any heat, you can always point your arms in both directions. It's classic, and it's also very wise. I'm not that swift with posting screenshots/links on here. Anyone else is?
5:25 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The reviews in the right advertising sidebar are paid advertising. Click "View all reviews," and you'll be taken to a page of reviews that are credited to the participating merchants' sites. At the bottom of the page is a statement that says "Google is compensated by these merchants."
5:40 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Indeed, most Internet users are first looking for the fine print and study TOS in detail (some of them first contact their attorney to review the sites' terms) before they click.
6:25 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Savage is this what your talking about lower right

[imageupload.co.uk...] Screen shot


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:29 am (utc) on Jul 8, 2015]
[edit reason] Fixed link to correct protocol [/edit]

6:43 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes that's correct except in my example the specs were above the 'what customers are saying'.

I'm not sure I read that properly. Companies are paying google to lift their user reviews content and use that data to create their own (googles) star rating system? Meanwhile Amazon defends the use of their user reviews like they are gold? This is where I scratch my head. I will pay somebody to take my content and post it on their platform that dominates the portal to the web by around 90%?
7:02 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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bwnbwn ..from your screenshot, you seem to be running some kind of "toolbar"..maybe it is related to that ?
7:10 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes Leo I am on IE with the Google tool bar added.
7:51 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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At the bottom of the page is a statement that says "Google is compensated by these merchants."


And?

I wonder if B&H Photo Video or Best Buy gave google permission to use those reviews. Seems like an awful lot of scraped content displayed on this commercial page.

you'll be taken to a page of reviews that are credited to the participating merchants' sites


Why is it that those "credits" don't act like links when you mouse over them? Why is google trying to hide that they are links?
8:06 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Interesting ..for exactly the same search term..I get this..no reviews at all..totally different "shopping area" and a column of adwords..
[pasteboard.co...]
8:16 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What I'm hearing is "why wasn't I notified, and where do I sign up and pay my bucks to top the list?"

Hope your war chest is sturdy enough to play that came... and your brand, too.

Paid advertising is exactly that, and G has never hidden the fact that they are an advertising marketplace. Nothing wrong here (I am not a G apologist, or even ardent supporter), but I am an old time marketer and business person and this is nothing more than paying top price to be listed on the front page of the newspaper. If you can afford it, and you get good roi, then grand. If you can't play, you can't complain.
8:25 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You may want to see your ear/hearing specialist there t ;)
I think that the complaints are..G may be getting a cut of the purchase price of the objects..and may be taking content ( reviews ) from other sites in order to make the "shopping area" more attractive and close the sale..without the searcher needing to visit the sites from whom the reviews were taken..
If those "review" sites are affiliates" they will not get the sale that their copy helped sell..
8:47 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think most things can be acceptable until you put that 90%+ situation into play. It's like a filter to accessing the internet. I'm a chef and there are a variety of strainers. Some allow big pieces to pass through. Others are very fine and particles barely trickle through. That's my issue with how things appear to be going. If this was just a Bing thing, I honestly would barely give a rats A about it.
8:57 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Are Bing actually doing this ? ..If not..why not give them ( and any other search engines ) the benefit of the doubt..and leave them out of "the complaint"..unless they too begin doing this..
9:24 pm on July 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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True. I will revise what I said about not caring if Bing were doing the same. The principle of it, I have serious issues with. Of course I would care if Bing and whoever else was doing the same. I don't use Bing, so perhaps others have some insight into what they are doing. Perhaps their back end, content grabbing isn't as far along in development and they are "late to the party" as it were?

I would still be interested in clarification that these reviews are pay to play. You pay Google to compile and present them on Google.com without links (that I can see anyways). I believe that is what was said. Here take my content that my customers created and use it on your site, I'll pay you and you don't need to make a link on every review used. Interesting!? I think it would be like restaurant reviews, Google uses Google+ reviews, but could they now start using reviews from say TripAdvisor.com instead? I see these product reviews as being everything that's out there online, taken, filed, and compiled into a neat little system for convenience for the end user. It's an amazing concept if you can get people to pay for something when you in fact should be paying for it. It would be like Disneyland giving us money at the gate to enter the park. Amazing!
1:32 am on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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OK, I fixed MrSavage's link, and the screen-shot shows what I see on the left and on top, but not what I see in the right column. More on that to come, as I'm in the midst of something else, but want to get this up.

What this has to be is a variant of Google Shopping, probably being tested, but perhaps rolled out widely. I"m seeing this in the SF Bay Area in the US, on both Firefox and on Chrome. Not running IE.

This variant of Google Shopping appears to kick in only on specific products. It also seems that major retailers have all bought in on this, and that there are perhaps semi-organic aspects to it... so it's pay for play... and, once in the Shopping results, it looks like an extremely functional interface that still has quirks.

Interface is tabbed, and once in the Shopping results, there's no link back to Google "web" search. In that regard, these are like local, and like other Google Shopping results I've seen. At first glance, these get fairly subtle about how they're mixing product listings, review, features, search, and navigation, etc.

Also, it appears, not all Google Shopping results in organic serps pages are being changed by this... only relatively high-ticket items like cameras and phones, but I don't know that for sure.

What I'm seeing in the right hand column is roughly this. Some one-line ads at the top right of this ad column (basically, the retailer name and price)... then a collection of very short snippets, the most useful, I'm guessing, for each feature, and then a "View all reviews link" that takes you to the shopping section...

Reviews
88 reviews
What people are saying:
Zoom/lens: "... fast focusing great design compact body."
Design: "First, I like the retro feel of this camera."
Size: "I love how small and compact it is."
Battery life: "Battery life seems a bit short."
View all reviews >>

I'm not sure whether the sites listed are any different than those already using Google Shopping, but I'm guessing that these are going to be so attractive to retailers that perhaps more large online retailers are going to pay to use them. Probably the most functional shopping ads I've seen. These allow Google to make more efficient use of right column real estate.

I haven't had a chance to see whether only sites with one-line ads in the top are included in the players here... but, if they're the same, then for Google and for advertisers this would be superb chance to check how brand name and price listings compete against multiple shopping feature listings. I haven't scoped out what determines the order of these top listings, but I suspect it's a popularity algorithm.

The more I explore, the more I realize how granular this new interface is, and how personalized it also might be... and rather than post comments based on only my very limited time to test this, I'm posting this much now.

It would be helpful to have feedback from members familiar with regular Google Shopping results vs what we see in the new interface.


NOTE that in the serps where regular Google Shopping results continue to appear, the shopping link appears above a cluster of ads, which are clustered either in a small row across the top or in the upper right, as usual.
9:47 am on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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PS to the above, regarding those top, right column, one-line listings of retailers and price...
I haven't scoped out what determines the order of these top listings, but I suspect it's a popularity algorithm.

Dope slap to the head. Upon reflection, these are ad results, so they're ordered by and advertising algorithm... probably the same as AdWords, but maybe not exactly. There's got to be bid and click-through components to the positioning.

These are bare bones, just the retailer name and price on a line, so it's obviously a combination of those two ingredients in attracting clicks, along with position that's determined by those factors and clicks.
10:53 am on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So Google just invented the "comparison shopping engine"..Oh ..Wait

This could be good for Bing ( if they don't go the same way ) ..When Yahoo folds, and Google has become the portal/ shopping engine/latest news/twitter feed/search engine..( the difference being that Yahoo's front page was like that, whereas Google's front page is "clean" and "uncluttered", but their SERPs are getting to look like Yahoo's old front page ) ..If Bing can keep it's frontpage and serps reasonably "clean" and "uncluttered" ( they are "cleaner" and less "cluttered" than than Google's ) webmasters may move to Bing..after all that was the reason that they moved ( and sung it's praises ) to Google..

Oh..Wait..Google has adsense ( welfare for webmasters) almost worldwide..
Bing doesn't..
Huge error by Bing..
Maybe Bing ( Microsoft ) will give up the "easy" challenge to Google and try for the "hard" challenge to "Apple" ( sell hardware and apps ) way..

That would be dumb, and wasting a golden oppertunity..

Oh ..Wait
11:37 am on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I was pinged on this thread because I did a ton of testing of this late last week, which I posted on my site yesterday morning. I called them a hybrid between Product Listing Ads (PLAs, aka shopping ads) and the knowledge panel since they had elements of both in them.

They are only showing up for specific product names where you list a model # or name, where Google can compare the identical product with all the merchants. So searching for just a camera brand won't show it, but searching for a specific camera brand does.

I couldn't determine the order the sellers were being displayed in, but I suspect it is on the backend tied to the cost to advertiser. It wasn't alphabetical, price or product condition based.

I also think pricing is going to be much more crucial in these, since it is so easy for potential buyers to see who is the cheapest seller.

Bing is not testing anything similar in any of the many searches I did to try and trigger it. However, they could in the future.

I also included a ton of screenshots here: [thesempost.com...]
12:04 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think of extreme importance will be where does this "comparison shopping engine box" show up when searches are performed on a phone or a tablet..above ? or below ? the rest of SERP..
"Above" would mean one hell of a long scrooooooooooooll , before one gets to the "non paid for part" of Google SERP..except with this format it will ( once one begins to scroll ) not be easy at all to know that one is in a "paid for part" ( ad ) of SERP..
I can't test it's placement on "mobile devices" easily from here.. France..the appearance of this " comparison shopping engine box" appears to be GEO related.. USA ( and maybe not all of USA ? ) only ATM..
If ( on mobile devices ) it's placement is above SERP..that would also mean that any site who does is not "in it" and is in the "organic" part of SERP..is screwed..
12:44 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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When everything comes down to price we might as well give up. There is always somebody that doesn't know their cost and just is willing to be cheaper. That is the Amazon model. So you will see people gradually tweak the free shipping, downgrade the shipping level so it is cheaper etc. Next thing that happens is they realize they aren't making money. They struggle for a few years and then they give up. Another Google customer bites the dust. Google and Amazon greed are actually raising the end cost to the consumer. I know I increase the prices I charge on Amazon 15% or more to cover the fees.
12:50 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I could only trigger them from a US IP, but they tend to do most of their ad testing in the US first.
2:15 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I've seen it in the UK but can't remember what it was for.

When everything comes down to price we might as well give up.


I think that's why most of my industry, except for the London area, has finished with Google advertising.
2:25 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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looks very much like comparison shopping....so does content marketing from hereon mean, create great content, pay google to list them and make money by selling your products/service...looks like the dooms day is nearing for the comparison/review engines in the eCommerce space that make money thro. affiliate marketing...

and then will there be a day when all these online marketplaces like the amazon get doomed as well when the sellers in those marketplaces get into google directly?
2:48 pm on July 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@Jenstar..re the layout of SERP pages that exhibit this behaviour on mobile phones and or tablets..can you confirm..does this "comparison shopping engine box" show up above ? or below ? "organic SERP"..
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