|Should Google enable Trademarks to be used as authority signals?|
Where a business has a slogan, name , logo or any other "Mark" duly registered as a Trademark, within the US or elsewhere in the World, do you think Google should allow the owner of the Mark to associate it's websites, with the mark and use this as an authority signal in the vertical in which it applies?
Maybe something similar to Google's authorship markup?
Intriguing question, Whitey. I'm not sure where you're going with it....
In a way, I'm thinking that Google already does something like this algorithmically, at least to the degree it can identify logos, slogans, mascots, etc as "entities" and associate these with the brand... and then to the degree it can identify searcher behavior as responding to these as positive (or, I suppose negative) signals. There'd likely be co-occurrence among the various elements that Google might use.
It sounds like, at the least, you might be suggesting that Google could create a "trademark" schema markup, which would make Google's job of identification easier. I don't know whether it would be useful to have a separate system for those trademarked entities to confer authority onto the trademark owners... or whether these should just serve as points of recognition for the user, as they do in the "real" world.
Perhaps, like the Goodyear blimp, they might serve as an extra vehicle to carry the brand (pun intended here) and trigger the brand-name memory.
Google's rel="publisher" has been pulling logos (trademarked, I assume) from Google+ pages for thumbnail display in the serps for a short while now, and I suppose that's about the same kind of boost as rel="author" is providing. Both of these tags definitely have a future, but setting up and calibrating additional systems of authority, dealing with spam, etc, as we've seen takes time. So right now, author and publisher are essentially vehicles conveying visceral qualities (ie, thumbnail images) about the brand. They don't seem to be directly affecting ranking.
Perhaps such entity classes like slogan and logo could be properties of brand... I'm probably being very sloppy in my use of technical vocabulary here, and I've got to confess I haven't given the creation of schemas that much thought. I don't know whether you intended this to turn into a microdata question, but that's how it makes sense for me.
How would you see Google using something like a slogan to confer authority, beyond simply noticing that the slogan triggers user associations and reactions... or perhaps not even noticing the mechanism, but simply letting it happen?
|How would you see Google using something like a slogan to confer authority, beyond simply noticing that the slogan triggers user associations and reactions... or perhaps not even noticing the mechanism, but simply letting it happen? |
I'm not sure I've thought through the mechanics enough, but having a Trademark can only occur when a reputation is proven and registration has occurred. So it's the ultimate control management for that mark and it's brand reputation. e.g. Chrome™ = browser ( in this case I think the mark is being applied for, not fully registered ).
Sometimes a Trademark precedes popularity when it's distinctly discernible, unique and original, so relying on users to boost brands through popularity could be a less relevant signal than that of the marks registration.
It's worth noting that Google allows bidding on others trademarks in Adwords [support.google.com...] , but it still fields complaints. So I wonder what it's attitude is in search. Surely it's important to identify the source where possible. And in this sense, information acts a little differently from advertising.
Many SEO's and companies prime task is to secure their reputation online. So how would they do it best?