back to article Amazon search results now less self-centered, boffin says

Amazon's search results have become less likely to favor the company's own products, according to research from a University of Minnesota economist. The search ranking change coincides with Amazon's designation as a gatekeeper under Europe's Digital Markets Act (DMA). It affects Amazon search results not only in Europe but …

  1. Zibob Bronze badge

    An admission of guilt?

    So since the pressure made then jump before pushed that is clear evidence that they were manipulating the market.

    So historical fines going back how many year are in order now? 4% a year or something right? So apply that to all of their finances that have been reported going back that many years.

    Because we could use some of it to upgrade the power grid the are leeching off.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: An admission of guilt?

      That's not how any of this works. Their making a change does not imply guilt at all for two reasons:

      1. Until the DMA, the things the DMA forbids were not illegal. You can't convict them of anything that wasn't a crime when they did it.

      2. Their choice to make a change suggests that they thought regulators would find their algorithm violated the DMA, not that they were necessarily doing something else illegal. In order to charge them for market manipulation, you have to prove specific violations. That's what they're already trying to do, and they will have to do so as manually as they did before.

      You also have a weird idea of leaching off the power grids, which I assume has to do with their cloud business instead of the retail one, but we can leave that for later.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Less self-centred maybe. But still crap for the most part.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And deliberately so

      They removed all but the most basic search logic years ago, so you have to wade past page after page of irrelevant results. Plus they try to bury listings offering a product at a fair price with duplicate listings.

      Take for example Hammermill blue, standard copy paper. You can pay 48$ for a 10 ream box, but you have to find the link as there are pages of listing for 5 or 8 ream boxes at 2.5x or more per ream, plus the Amazon Basics version shows up multiple times at $49 for 10 reams.

      We buy the stuff 20 boxes at a time, so if one of my co-workers uses the search box instead of the bookmarked link, it could cost us more than a grand. I resorted to using external search to shop on amazon on a regular basis, as often the amazon search results don't even return results for what I am looking for. I have also shifted to using them as the vendor of last resort. Sucks slightly to have to pay more and wait longer, but honestly it's been easier to adjust to than I expected, especially since most of the companies I work with now genuinely appreciate my business, value my time and sanity, and generally don't suck.

      Don't make the Torment Nexus, and don't shop and Amazon or Walmart if you can reasonably avoid it. Tank their results for a couple quarters and they will come crawling back to you...

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: And deliberately so

        I don’t use Amazon or their website so can’t comment on their internal search, but Google-sourced search sites are now poisoned with page after page of Amazon ‘results’ before getting to real, useful answers.

      2. Giles C Silver badge

        Re: And deliberately so

        Amazon result are useless, even searching by the product part number doesn’t return remotely correct results.

        I wanted a toner for a hp4350 it is an old printer so put in a search for Q5942X only to get results for toner for completely different models of printer.

        Really useless I just tried it again and the correct toner is the third item listed???

        EBay gives better results and that is saying something.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: And deliberately so

          Similar with Google. My wife just asked me to check when a new TV series was about to start. So I put the shows name in + "series 4 release date" and one of the first results was for Amazon Prime. So I checked and it only had series (Seasons???) 1-3. And yet I specified series 4. Clearly paid results that only partially match get a higher priority than actual 100% match results.

          (I did also get exactly the same results using the American "season" instead of UK "series" for UK TV show)

          1. hoola Silver badge

            Re: And deliberately so

            Google is also the killer, particularly when combines with Amazon.

            You do a search for something and there are endless results for stuff on Amazon with what looks like good prices (often to good to be true).

            If you do click on the link you get taken to some page that shows an ancient item that is long out of stock and should never have been returned in the first place. The assumption in many cases is that they never ever existed and it is just a way to get you in.

            Now you have a page with all sorts of suggested items on Amazon so most not click on those so it is win-win for Amazon.

            What really winds me up is how often those suggested items are more expensive than stuff that is in stock in the Google search or just in a good old shop.

            People pick the cheapest that is in stock on Amazon & then say how great Amazon is and how cheap it is.

            Everything about Amazon winds me up.

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