Whitey - 5:26 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0) [edited by: Whitey at 5:35 am (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]
Brand recognition has much more depth but includes authority, so authority - citations, links, is naturally part of becoming a brand.
@CainIV - good analogy. It's really clear when you see how Wikipedia works. Wiki is probably now recognised as the most popular "brand" as a free encyclopedia.
It ticks most of the elements that you raised awareness on. For an article to become an authority, it must receive an authoratitive citation. Basically because it's outstandingly good at what it does compared to others.
In general terms, sites may provide other forms of brand - exceptional user experience for example. Talking about the same subject, uniquely infinitum , or getting 100's of links with same or similar anchor text, or repeating a keyword over and over again does more damage than good.
Doing something different that folks recognise and can have measured appreciation is the real winner.
So therein lies the moral of the story behind the Panda / Penguin updates IMO
@CainIV ... you've got my vote :)
[edited by: Whitey at 5:35 am (utc) on Apr 27, 2012]