Marketing_Guy - 10:54 am on Jul 16, 2012 (gmt 0)
"Creating a brand in Google's eyes" is basically the same as "trying to fake a brand for SEO purposes". Spend $20k on a branding agency and get them to develop your brand strategy and do what they say.
The important SEO bits and pieces (link growth for example) will fall into place naturally.
Getting by on SEO alone is all very well when you don't plan to spend any serious cash on developing the website, but if you plan to play with the big boys, then investing in traditional marketing is crucial. It's near impossible to sustain a large business on SEO techniques alone.
Those who do succeed by those means are generally very skilled at content creation, social networking, etc to the point that these techniques could be considered their core products rather than marketing channels.