goodroi - 11:45 am on Apr 13, 2011 (gmt 0)
Google has been talking about "brands" for a long time. Some possible ways that Google can use to determine "brands" are twitter mentions, backlinks, search queries and toolbar usage.
You do not need to be a fortune 500 company to be a "brand". Several of my websites outrank fortune 500 sites and my websites' names appear in Google suggest. I think part of SEO today is to deal with "social signals" and "brand signals".
Can you share any specific research that shows Panda is connected to "brands" or "brand signals"?