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Do You Think Google Favors Big Brands?

Or Do Big Brands Just Come Equipped with the Right Ingredients?

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As you may know, Google’s Matt Cutts regularly answers user questions in the form of YouTube videos at Google’s Webmaster Central channel. One recent question he took on goes:

As far as big brands go, why is it that they seem to do well irregardless of relevance, content or links when analyzing keyword placement in search engine result pages?

This is not a new subject. You might recall a thought-provoking blog post from SEOBook author Aaron Wall on the subject a while back. WebProNews spoke with Wall and discussed the issue a little bit further in another article.

A little while later, Cutts posted one of his videos, and pretty much disputed the fact that Google gives weight to any sites just because of their brand. In that one, he said they focus more on things like trust, authority, reputation, pagerank, etc.

In this latest video, he dismisses the notion in a way that seems a little more concrete, indicating that Google does not rank based on brand. "I would not agree with the premise of you question," he says. He notes that small mom and pops complain that big brands are getting too much weight, while the big brands are complaining that they are not getting enough.

Essentially, Google’s position on the matter is that they just try to deliver the pages that are the most useful to the user. If you consider those other words (trust, reputation, pagerank, etc.), it makes sense that big brands would rank higher frequently because the reason they have become big brands is likely that they have built a solid reputation, and people trust them because they know the brand, and this inspires linking, which leads to pagerank.

This makes sense to me. Would you agree? Talk about it in the comments.

Do You Think Google Favors Big Brands?
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  • http://texxsmith.com texxs

    I’ve seen big brand launch a site and have #1 ranking for super competitive keywords within days (back when there was a google sandbox).

    they very obviously favor big brands.

    And not just when it comes to ranking.

    If a big brand complains about someone PPC bidding on thier trademark, they’ll close it to bidding for everyone except the big brand. If a medium one does they close it for everyone except the trademark holder and some other big brands (like amazon), if it’s a little guy with a problem like this Google ignores them.

    If this little guys keeps hounding them about it, you’ll eventually getting a letter that says, basically, you’re going to have to sue us to get it to stop.

  • http://www.controldatainc.com debt collection agency

    Its interesting that an economy originally built on the small business person is now at the other end of the scales.

  • Guest

    Google favors one particular site in the travel industry. The site has been in number one position since 2003. When Google changes it algorithm, the site adapts before the change which leads me to believe the site has an insider at google that tells them to make these changes. It has been my practice not to fix something that is not broke – so why would this site change while still holding number one position and know when to change and what to change? and it has a list of misspellings at the bottom of the page – keyword stuffing – not in a sentence but labeled as misspelling and just listed. Google says it not okay for everyone else to use misspellings like this – but this site remains on top and brags about the millions of dollars its made. I am not talking about one position, these sites hold the number one position for every city state, city state id, and every combination keyword phrases possible for hotels etc. The site is a travel affiliate site and has no better information than anyone else. I have reported this site several times for spamming, then afterwards my site gets knocked down after I make a report – they can track you with your ip address and your google webmaster account. – Google has turned into big brother.

    I will not mention the site but you can find it easily by searching for city state hotels (plug in any city state) then randomly pick more cities in the US. then do a search for city state id hotels, repeat and its the same old same old.

  • Guest

    Every body give priority to the money makers
    even Ebay give them preferential placement The little in the back of the bus please !!!!!

  • Guest

    Every body give priority to the money makers
    even Ebay give them preferential placement The little guys in the back of the bus please !!!!!

  • http://www.discoveryvallarta.com michaelj72

    “disputed the fact that Google gives weight to any sites just because of their brand. In that one, he said they focus more on things like trust, authority, reputation, pagerank, etc.”

    well of course he’s technically correct, he’s watching how he uses his words like any good businessman or politician – but what really is the ‘practical’ difference between a ‘Brand’ and say ‘Trust’ and ‘Authority’ – over a period of time they start to become similar, in practice. google favoritism’s remark and the example of the travel site is not uncommon, I am afraid.

    recently for example in my niche i started noticing all sorts of local and therefore very valuable websites being crowded out of the top 10-20 search results on multiple keywords by these big national and international websites like fodors, frommers, tripadvisor, etc. yeah so they have more ‘Authority’ but it’s like favoring big national and chain business over local businesses, that’s the common model for almost everything these days. (and i have to add that checking on some of these sites that were so highly ranked, some of them didn’t have recent reviewsor accurate up to date info of say a local restaurant or a review of places to stay or things to do in my niche, in fact some had reviews most recently as 2 or 3 years ago!)

    google is just giving too much weight to these kind of Authority sites, in these instances, while local websites are crowded out and can’t ‘compete’ with the big shots (all of whom are multi million $$ businesses and can buy tens of thousands of links too don’t forget)

  • http://www.thepleasuresallmine.com Adult Toys

    The adult market is huge and again google seem to favour the bigger companys out there and people trying to enter this market are squeezed out by the competitors and google, especially google adwords the change the ppc to maximise they take as much money as possible. On that there seems to be a hell of a lot of click through’s with no sales, is this the big boys trying to cripple the small companys with very little budget.

  • http://www.fashion-in-bag.com/ Replica Designer Handbags

    it is unfair.

  • Anonymous

    Google is going to destroy small businesses in the long run, we should all take note of this, we give google power because we use google, im really worried of the future because google will make the poor even more poorer and the rich get richer, thnk about it, google is ruthless and are unfair, they give weight to the big companies who have so many advantages already, like let me think o yea not paying vat, as they set themselves up in little gurnsey, you know that island which belongs to the mafia “the crown” who pays not taxes.. mmm yes and little gurnsey doen’t belong to uk england or EU and yet they are exempt from paying tax. many uk small businesses are going bust everyday, and goole has a lot to do with helping them go bust. These gurnsey companies sell on amazon and are much cheaper than any other retailer, they then get number 1 position and when a customer see their price and compares the next three sites they will realise that well amazon is cheaper so ill go there. And that is whats happening, trust me guys dont bother with paying google for adword clicks, its a total rippoff , sure you get many clicks but no one buys, and unless you pay no vat on imports and export then you have no chance.

    What we must all do is use yahoo or msn when searching, and tell new users to the internet that msn is much metter bla bla bla you know spread the word, because if we dont google will make the poor stay poor and destroy the chances of small businesse.

  • http://www.t0711.co.uk T0711

    think google will become every small biz worst enemy, i have seen many small businesses go bust all because of this vat exemption, which is corrupt, there is no just reason for gurnsey biz to pay no vat.
    Anyway i used to use google but then i realised that google is going to far, and are too power hungry. Also their search results are not that good anymore, in fact www.bing.co.uk is much better, not so much spam and they dont spy on you, unlike google

  • Guest

    Here’s a perfect example that shows this could be true:
    Search for “michael jackson albums” on google. Amazon comes up on every page. As a record collector, I know that the site with the most albums is gemm.com. If they’ve been around longer than amazon, and they have more albums than anyone else on the internet as far as i know (please correct me if i’m wrong), why do they not show up at all in google’s search results?
    I’m sure it has nothing to do with John Doerr being on the board of directors of Amazon and Google. I started to suspect this because I’ve been buying on gemm since the 90s and gemm’s internal search sucks, so I try to use google to search their site, but it seems google refuses to rank gemm. I get better results with yahoo, but have been using bing lately to search gemm.

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