• http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    You’re looking at the wrong chart. In terms of traffic (and thus audience),  Nextag is ranked fifth, Google second. You’re viewing a chart showing how much revenue advertisers make, where Nextag is the second biggest revenue generator.

    But regardless, it is about the consumer. A consumer searching for news on Google is well served if Google provides news results. Otherwise, we’re right back to 9/11, when you’d search on Google and get listings saying “see the view at the top of the World Trade Center.” Having a vertical news search engine as Google News is prevents such terrible results for showing to consumers. The same is true for other search engines.

    Google is not the first general purpose search engine to offer vertical search results. It’s a natural evolution of what a good search engine should do. It certainly sucks if you’re a shopping search engine and you have to compete against a search leader like Google that goes into shopping search. But it’s like complaining that you’re a milk vendor that gets upset when Walmart sells milk. It’s a store. People want to buy products. They carry products people want.

    Google is a search store. It carries search products. It’s harmful to the consumer to say that it can’t carry search products. If you accept that argument, eventually, you end up with Google being nothing but a place that points to other search engines.

    If Nextag is an awesome search engine, then it should have a substantial audience that seeks it directly. Having 65% of your traffic coming from Google suggests otherwise. And if that’s a negative trend, it’s even more damning against Nextag. That suggest it never had a direct audience that was seeking it out but that it was instead depending entirely on another search engine to send its traffic. IE, it’s skilled at SEO bub not as being a high-quality destination search engine that consumers seek out directly.

    Finally, the concerns about transparency are not tangential. They are core to what Nextag’s CEO raised, that Google is somehow giving preference to those who paid rather than listing the best results, as consumers may expect.

    Those are his words. Go back and read them. Consumers are expecting the best results, not just results from those who pay for the privilege of appearing. But that’s not apparently the case at Nextag. You aren’t getting the best results. You’re getting the best results from those companies that chose to pay. There could be better results, but Nextag doesn’t go out of its way to try and locate those. It only deals with those who pay.

  • Sam Peck

    Are we talking about paid inclusion or affiliate fees? 

    All of the “non-google” ones on the above list either utilize referral links which come with affiliate payment on conversions or some kind of cpc model.  With the exception of shopping.com (an ebay site-which puts fine print on individual listings), none of them disclose anywhere that I could see that they get paid for referring converting customers to these sites except on the merchant sign up page.  

    And then of course there’s everybody’s new favorite Pinterest who uses referral links or allows “pinners” to include them.

  • unprogram

    (This is in reply to your later post in the thread.
    The system is not allowing me to respond to it)

    The more Google innovates, the better. Who would
    argue against that? I don’t care about comparison
    shopping engines losing traffic to Google if they
    lost in a fair competition. Take the concrete example
    of Google’s search in shopping verical – Google Product
    Search (GPS). Don’t you think consumers would have
    been better served if GPS competed on an equal footing
    with other CSEs for a spot in the generic search
    results? Instead Google inserted GPS into the generic
    search listings in the name of offering ‘blended results’. 
    (BTW: Talking about transparency – this blending happened
    without any labeling making clear these results are not ‘organic’
    in the same way the other 10 organic links are ) The
    result is traffic to competing CSEs automatically
    dropped irrespective of the merits of GPS in relation
    to its competition. Google recently admitted that its
    ‘free’ model for GPS is working against keeping the
    product catalog clean. Most GPS users know this already.
    The price on the lowest priced item is often incorrect.
    You would think if a product has basic quality problems
    like these, it would be exposed to the market forces
    that can potentially penalize it. May be Google’s product
    is better than the competition despite these quality issues.
    But market forces (presumed to be simulated by Google’s
    natural search algorithm) should be allowed to make that
    determination – not Google’s money making machine.

    No, I am not asking Google to stop innovating. All I am
    saying is that it won’t be too long before Google stops
    innovating unless we are very vigilant about Google abusing
    its dominant position in generic search to suppress
    competition in other verticals. Innovation thrives with
    competition. Remove competition – it won’t be too long
    before innovation dies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jwhere John Kent Williams

    Next Tag is what is wrong with the internet.  They are the walmart of the internet…..they kill all small companies.  Google should de-index any company that simply lists things from other real companies.  PERIOD.