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Old 01-05-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
Richard Herley
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Amazon withdraws ebook explaining how to manipulate its sales rankings

Article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011...indle-rankings

Link found on Mike Cane's xBlog. Amazon may have to monitor their reviews a little more in future!
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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I really wish that author would have said how many copies he actually sold after faking his way to the top.
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
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Meh.... Apple dealt with a similar issue recently with an app for the iPhone.

People try the same thing with Google search rankings all the time as well. Google typically picks up on it and adjusts their algorithms / methodology to void any such advantages.

One store was even convinced that getting bad reviews for terrible customer service was getting him a high ranking. Once his behavior came to light, the store essentially got all but blacklisted. (Google claims this is not an accurate assessment of its search algorithms btw).

Occasionally people figure out how to game the system, but it doesn't usually last long. Nor is it a sign of massive hypocrisy by an evil corporate entity.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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oh noes!!!!!!!! censorship!!!! against freedom of speech! they're going to ban all the books about sales and economics! woe is me!!! run for the hills!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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The book hasn't been withdrawn - it was taken down temporarily then put up on sale again.

Quote:
"Hertog published his exposé The Day the Kindle Died in December, but claims the title was taken down from Amazon's websites on New Year's Eve after an article about the book appeared on technology site TechEye. Wealth Hazards [the book he "faked" into number one spot] was also removed from the Amazon listings on New Year's Eve. Both books are now once again for sale on the site, but with their sales rankings and reviews now removed."
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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[EDIT: DMSmillie beat me to it.]

It looks like this guys books are still available on Amazon but they don't have the 5 star reviews that he claims -- only a few reviews and all negative. The guy seems like the equivilant of an Amazon Troll.

However, I read about another author who recommended giving away books to top reviewers in exchange for honest reviews. He claimed this was a huge boost to his sales, and I have to say that a book with a relatively large number of 5 star reviews does get my attention. I'm actually surprised that some kind of business that provides X number of Amazon reviews hasn't been started.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:28 PM   #7
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Is it to much to hope that during that time period they took it down that they actually read it and used the information contained in it to improve their sales ranking system?

Quote:
I'm actually surprised that some kind of business that provides X number of Amazon reviews hasn't been started.
Last I heard Harriet Klausner doesn't charge a fee, but she should.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:36 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by abookreader View Post
Last I heard Harriet Klausner doesn't charge a fee, but she should.
Ain't that the truth. And there are others, groups of people who do Amazon reviews. They may not be advertising, but they aren't really hiding either. Some of the reviewers at Amazon are getting ARCs, which some people have a problem with.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by abookreader View Post
Last I heard Harriet Klausner doesn't charge a fee, but she should.
Here is her profile. She's done over 23,000 book reviews. Those are Wilt Chamberlain type numbers.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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She's already done 34 book reviews this year and it's only Jan. 5th.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daithi View Post
Here is her profile. She's done over 23,000 book reviews. Those are Wilt Chamberlain type numbers.
Oh, it's higher than that. She's been around a long time, since back before the current tracking system was used. Remember when reviews used to just say "A Customer" instead of the user name? Some speculate that she could have thousands that aren't included in that number.

She's far too "prolific" to carry any weight with me, self-proclaimed speed-reader or not. Fortunately, the new review rating system knocked her way down from her previous "#1 Reviewer" spot. Many of her reviews are generic summary rehashes with a vague opinion or two thrown in.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:11 PM   #12
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She's already done 34 book reviews this year and it's only Jan. 5th.
Oh, then she's slowed down some. She used to do about 35 to 40 a day in addition to supposedly working her full-time job.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:07 PM   #13
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Here is her profile. She's done over 23,000 book reviews. Those are Wilt Chamberlain type numbers.
Amazon.com sold its first book in July, 1995. Since I don't have an exact date, let's say July 1, 1995. That would be 5,667 days. She's written (as of this post) 23,536 reviews. That would require reading at least four books a day, every day, since Amazon's very first day. Less than four hours a book. And that's assuming no job, no time off, eating with a book in one hand. Also assuming, of course, that these reviews go back to Day 1, which they don't.

Wanna buy a bridge?
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:34 PM   #14
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Some people post reviews of all books they have read over the past several decades, so not all of them would have to be in the past few years.



This is part of the double edged sword...

Smashwords requires you to purchase it from them to post a review, this is strict but also limits the random reviews possible.

Amazon lets anyone post reviews but this leaves the system open to abuse like this.

I like Newegg to an extent, you can post a review, and it checks your account to see if you have purchased it before, and shows "purchased from Newegg: (yes or no)".. so the "No" reviews tend to carry less weight than those that were purchased from the site.
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Old 01-05-2011, 07:39 PM   #15
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Honestly this guy's book should be removed considering all that he did. Now he's just trying to drum up downloads for his other books by crying controversy.


Also, Harriet Klausner is a fraud. Thinking about her just angers me. I saw an article on her once where she said "Oh I'm a speedreader" and "Gosh I just love every single book I read" and I almost puked, considering the article writer didn't push her on the issue. Really?
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