MrSavage - 4:48 am on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)
Not sure where to slot this in. This could be part of many different threads. That said, this is what I'm noticing.
I've just done a bit of looking at results for searches that I'm very familiar with. I know what sites are usually ranking where. What I see is that the "authentic" or "brand" or "source" of the search is turning up at the top. In other words, that space the niche smaller site once occupied, have now been clobbered by those giant originator/rights owner/brand name websites. I'm speaking to an area where I'm familiar with so it's evident the change.
My sense is that this same situation is starting to apply to images. Not definite, but it appears to me from where I stand that Google wants to change how this worked in the past, and simply put those images and content to the rightful owner. I suppose that's terrific but it means the death of many that once were.
I mention this here because I have solid proof in the place where I know what I'm looking at. The brand is at the top, taking over at least the top 3 spots whereas before there were a number of niche sites which utilized keywords in their domain. Take keyword matches out? Then what you have is only the brand. That's my take right now at least in one small area of the web.
I really believe that this minor tweak of EMD has far greater impact than what might have been assumed. I'm starting to believe that whatever value Google placed in EMD was one of the few remaining variables that allowed for the average webmaster to rank in the areas of the web which see a decent number of searches.
The shift in results I'm seeing on one particular keyword phrase is a real eye opener for me. It appears that the pretenders are out right now. The brand in this case rose right to the top. Perhaps that's the way it should be I'm not sure.
I'm going to do a bit more looking in areas where I'm most familiar and see if this is across the board or not. My guess is that it is.
I'm wondering if there is a big philosophy change going on with who the rightful owners are of brand names, content, images, etc.