Amazon Featured At Top Of Google's Results : Not Google, It's a Plugin

Aug 17, 2011 • 9:59 am | comments (40) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Try a search for [women shoes] or [biker shorts] or other keyword phrases and you'd be surprised to see Amazon getting a special listing of product results, exclusive to at the top of the search results.

Here is a picture:

Amazon Google Results

Why would Google think Amazon deserves these results? I don't see any other site getting these? Is it an ad? Is it a Google Product search test? Is it a special new rich snippet thing? What in the world is this? Why doesn't it bring up sites like Overstock or other companies? What is going on here exactly?

Truth is, this is a plugin caused by Awesome Screenshot. Blogstorm discovered the issue. How very sneaky of Awesome Screenshot to do this. It is a great utility but I am removing this asap.

Yes, I see this myself. Yes, I received about 50 emails and tweets from other searchers noticing this and asking me why this is happening. It is not something Google is doing, it is a Chrome extension messing with Google's search results.

I hope Awesome Screenshot makes a change soon to this.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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08/17/2011 02:11 pm

They are probably rolling in money from it...


08/17/2011 02:15 pm

Thats evil! Just removed awesome screenshot from firefox... Even tho I havent seen such results myself...

Matt Soreco

08/17/2011 02:19 pm

Free plugins, extension, apps, etc. come at a price.


08/17/2011 02:44 pm

ISP 's are being charged in Court for messing with SERPS - Somebody explain to me why a software company is allowed to do the same thing?  (Oh Yeah EULA) Obviously follow the money.  Amazon is the beneficiary of  "Awesome Screen Shot", so there in lies the blame.  If they are smart, Amazon will remove this. Searchengineman

SF Chicago

08/17/2011 03:18 pm

I just downloaded Awesome Screen Shot yesterday. This is a smart play on their part.


08/17/2011 04:29 pm

That is super smart thinking for them but very intrusive without any warnings that they'd do this. I thought it might have been Google cutting "mates rates affiliate deals". Interesting stuff.

Joe Steinbeck

08/17/2011 05:18 pm

I wouldn't expect this to stay in place for very long. Google can't be ok with people messing with their SERP. I suspect that Google will, as required, 1) remove it from the Chrome store, 2) ask the developers to change it, 3) send a cease and desist order, 4) lean on Amazon to ban affiliates who do things like this.

Nick Roshon

08/17/2011 07:48 pm

I assume those are affiliate links to? If so, wow, they must be making a boatload of money from that. Very smart albeit very dishonest.

Document Destruction

08/17/2011 08:17 pm

And that is why Firefox rules the world. Poor Google, always picked on by scheming plug ins.

Document Destruction

08/17/2011 08:19 pm

BTW, you know every reader is going to search "womens shoes" because of this right.  LOL. Great Post!


08/17/2011 11:56 pm

Hi Barry, We provide an option for the awesome screenshot and users can disable this search feature in the awesome screenshot settting page.  We should have told users about this feature when they updated.  


08/18/2011 03:09 am

We updated a new version. It's easier for users to discover and disable this feature now if they don't like it. 


08/18/2011 04:26 am

Bravo,  Awesome Screen Shot (Joel?)You fixed the issue, and made it transparent (That's all users really want)You did the right thing.  Barry can install his software again. :-)You guys don't look like jerks.This a text book example on how to fix anything with Social Media. I'm looking for a decent screen capture software.  So I may try yours. Searchengineman


08/18/2011 09:12 am

thats interesting! i asked me if did it work with another websites....


08/18/2011 09:16 am

It's really a bad thing to hear.  But if you go to the settings page of that extension. You will have an option to disable it. 


08/18/2011 10:04 am

I wonder if this is a very new 'feature'.  I'm running Awesome Screenshot but I don't see those results, whether on my local Google or


08/18/2011 10:06 am

Right. Because somehow this type of issue is Chrome-specific.


08/18/2011 10:07 am

If Awesome Screenshots is creating affiliate links, then they are the beneficiary.


08/18/2011 10:11 am

That should be against Googles TOS. They didn't say that it was doing this so it shouldn't be allowed. I bet there getting a bit of pennies for it as well. Devils, I mean lawyers, go sue this *********. K, thanks.

Vincent Brendel

08/18/2011 10:48 am

Why would it matter what Google's Terms of Service says? We are talking about malware. Saying it should be against Google's ToS is like saying you can't steal a car unless you wear a seatbelt.

Rob Cortez

08/18/2011 11:27 am

Free software is never truly free unless it's FOSS.


08/18/2011 11:38 am

Nothing can justify adding this option to this kind of extension - this is worth a ban for your greed, period.

Barry Schwartz

08/18/2011 11:41 am

I renabled it and changed the settings.  Are there any cookie drops we should be aware of?  I know it is a free tool, it rocks but this seemed pretty extreme way to make some extra money.

Andrew Champ

08/18/2011 01:42 pm

Thanks for the heads up.... uninstalled.


08/18/2011 01:51 pm

Same here. I'm not seeing those results.


08/18/2011 01:55 pm

It's a Google Chrome extension hosted on the Chrome Web Store


08/18/2011 01:57 pm

Maybe it only works for the English Google.

Vincent Brendel

08/18/2011 02:34 pm

So the app wasn't exactly as described. I bet that even if the app vendor put in the description of the app that they put affiliate links in google search results that there would still be plenty of suckers that will install it anyway.

Vincent Brendel

08/18/2011 02:54 pm

What in your mind is greed, to the developer is making a living. The developer may need to be a little more straight up about their model, so you as the consumer have a choice, but you can't expect things to be free. That's not greed, that's business. Ask your employer.

Thomas Hunsaker

08/18/2011 02:59 pm

I just thought that was google. I love awesome screenshot, time to uninstall and use Google's semi-decent one. :(


08/18/2011 03:08 pm

@All,Hi All, This is Joel, developer of awesome screenshot. I am so sorry to add the amazon search result in google search result page without info our users first. It's such a bad decision.This additional features was designed to scratch our own itch. Because when I search some shopping items in google, I always want to check them in amazon at the same time.In the spirit of transparency, we should disclose that this feature does bring small amount of revenue to us, which enables us to continue to improve this product.Since so many users don't like it, we already updated a new version(3.2.1) to remove this feature.

Vincent Brendel

08/18/2011 03:09 pm

I love this thread! Everyone seems to think the app should be banned. Cease and desist even! Certainly no way Amazon will stop traffic to their store. Yes, so you all got fooled. Uninstall the app, and tell your friends. And if the developer has any sense, they'll lift their game to try to regain trust. But no harm was done, really. And while people here are calling for Google to ban it from the web store, Apple is always under fire for having such a rigorous approval process for apps. Just be glad that it's a free market economy, and you have a choice. And oh yeah: buyer beware. (even if a product is 'free')


08/19/2011 12:04 am



08/23/2011 12:53 am

You son of a bitch.  I'm ashamed to have recommended your plugin to so many developers. 


08/23/2011 12:53 am

He's lying.  He wanted affiliate links in there.  It's no convenience feature.


10/02/2011 02:04 am

 affilliate marketing isn't dishonest and the consumer doesnt pay anything more formthe same product  the marketer / developer just gets a small commission for his/her effort to direct you to the site  ive used Awesome screenshot for a long time, but not recently and was impressed with their smart implementation of monitizing their software WHICH you all have been using Without thanks or payment to the developer. only place where i see Joel made a mistake is by not being upfront about it, or adding Powered by AwesomeScreenshot to the Amazon results  My advise would be for them to bring out a PAID version of the extension with NO ads, and to use ads in the free versions to help fund their development and maintenance of their plugins  surely you dont work for free, do you?

Kasaram Karlee

03/13/2012 05:22 pm

Post is Good Giving Good information about Google Chrome browser. Thanks Kasaram Amazon Shopping Extension 

Durt Bagg

03/30/2012 02:58 am

Awesome screenshot  cuts off the image (by scrunching (sp) the image) if you do an entire page longer than the window.

Durt Bagg

03/30/2012 03:00 am

LOL... google never checks ... Android has more malware every day because google doesn't check their "apps" store.

Connie Dodson

05/26/2012 04:25 pm

Add -amazon to your search. Maybe someone will design an add-on for Firefox, for example, to exclude Amazon results? I find Amazon results and fake websites that link to Amazon when you click Buy more than annoying. I was cheated $999 on a Westinghouse HD ready flatscreen. Amazon emails stalled me past 30-days, then said, Read the fine print, you are past 30-days, directing me to a webspage I had never found before looking everywhere on Amazon to get help. If the only place selling the item is Amazon, I don't need it.

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