Brands Hit Big In Google SERPs, Others Drop

Hats off to Aaron Wall for a great article about how Google has used brands as the basis for their most recent algorithm update.

Seems many sites have fallen from their comfortable front page rankings in preference for sites well branded in the niche for many of keywords impacted. Insurance companies, airline tickets and boots to name a few have suddenly seen well known but unoptimized sites shoot up in the rankings.

These results will no doubt send us SEOs running to the mattresses s we try to figure out how to counter this action by Google. Is it an increase in attention to trust rank? If these sites have not done any quiet SEO, then Google has obviously increased their worth on some basis - who is to say an airline deserves the better position for a travel search. Many small sites provide all types of support information not available.

To make this happen Google had to use some method to measure - brands do not shout out numbers that an algorithm can measure - in normal circumstances. Are they being rewarded for years of PPC spend - not likely.

My theory - and is only that - is they may be using some sort of measuring of typed in traffic numbers. But no doubt the methodology will be explore quite a bit over the coming weeks and be a major conversation piece at SES NYC next month.

Hey if you have any insights drop a comment.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.