walkman - 11:08 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
If a website offers excellence, then helping visitors to remember the site, long term, is building a brand.
Google might have put the nail in the small biz coffin by asking questions like "do you feel comfortable here...would you trust this site..." by definition big brands rank much much higher than mystore.com or mysite.com. Depending how much weight Google gives to brand power we could be in a world of hurt. April was a big brand boost and content downgrade as far as I can tell and most small businesses cannot afford to start to build what Google wants all of the sudden to even give them a chance. So they will fire everyone and go down.
If they are 20 'brand' tech blogs doesn't mean that my better iPod review shouldn't have a chance based on content. Yet, depending on how google values their SITE I may have to get an unlikely higher number of 'likes,' 'tweets' or whatever to surface where this review may belong.
As a bonus for the eco$ystem that Google frequently mentions, online brands almost have to advertise on a Google advertising system.
This was promised to 'them' by Eric Schmidt in 2008 when he called the internet a 'cesspool' and since Google can't analyze content, we'll just promote you, the brands. It was a meeting with mainstream publishers.
I'm sorry to say it out loud, but the PhD's at Google are not social bugs. They are not the right type of people to even try to guage what is popular or not. How can Google engineers even have the qualifications to know whether something is really popular or not?
You see them hanging on Stackoverflow, Quora and HackerNews so they assume that all good sites must be like that or no clicks for you. This update was done to guess the instinct of an engineer, they admitted this much and then confirmed they are right...by checking what techies had banned on Chrome.