Planet13 - 6:03 am on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)
This last year the ONLY thing I have been doing is trying to build up our "brand" signal. End result; rankings are in the toilet.
We are a brick and mortar store that has been around since 1997. We are on google places, yelp, patch, citysearch, facebook. We are also listed in our city's "official" business site.
We send out emails, try to get people to rate us (people rarely do), participate in fundraising for schools or other organizations (so we get a mention or link), are listed in all those "phone book" type directories. Write our own product descriptions, shoot our own photos, yada, yada, yada...
None of that helped.
Got a bunch of links by writing emails by hand to people who I thought might like our site, and saying if they do like it, to pass it on. That helped not, either.
Out of the blue, Huffington Post, PBS, and some other well respected sites linked to us. Total Benefit? Nada.
And the result? Big traffic drops.
No, I am NOT one of the people thinking this is some big conspiracy to squeeze website owners into buying adwords.
All I am saying is that just because you are a brand, and the signals are "obvious," google still might not care.