|My own thoughts based on a recent series of queries below.|
TLDR I think it is most definitely.
Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to afford buying a home.
An empty home needs a lot of furniture to fill it. I've graduated from Ikea furniture I suppose, or more correctly I don't think I'd be able to make a successful pitch to the wife that this is the correct place to shop for furniture.
So, off I go to Google to try and see what the landscape is for furniture. The usual suspects all show up. Cranes and Bottles, Possibly Barn, Mercys, Blossomdales. And that was it. I scroll down, different variants of pages for these, ads... again more duplicate pages of brands I already know, more ads, so on and so forth. The "next page" is replaced by a "see more", and when I tap it just more of the same.
I literally couldn't find anything organic other than major brands, who not coincidentally were likely paying for adwords as well.
This isn't what I want to see in a search engine, I doubt it is for anyone else. I could have just typed in those domains, I know them all already.
I feel like at this point, it's time for a back to square one search results engine. Monopolies eventually kill off all brand goodwill and it looks like we've hit the tipping point.