tedster - 2:52 am on Dec 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
As a complete entity, no - huge corporations do not "get" SEO. As a matter of fact, for most big corporations there really is no one entity that you can call "the corporation". It's a fiction, a trick of language to even think of a corporation as "a complete entity". The systems are too diverse and only loosely connected.
Huge companies often have great in-house teams and great SEOs (Marshall Simmonds for the NY Times for example) but the corporate structure often hampers their work.
I usually take on big site consulting with a different mind-set. I need to be extremely pragmatic to get immediate wins for them, even while I work for corporate change. Some huge sites are making major strides in SEO these days. Others can only rank well for their own brands and trademarks - and some not even that much.
The difference with a company like Zappos or Amazon is that they were built for the web from the beginning.
Along these lines, Derrick Wheeler posted his "Mega SEO Oath" - pretty funny
Until search engines and all XX,XXX people in my organization get smarter,
I will continue to ask others to do more work than they would otherwise do
…until everyone hates me.
But I will work hard and do smart things that eventually get results
…so everyone loves me.
Until the algorithm changes
…and everyone hates me again.