tedster - 3:27 am on Feb 28, 2013 (gmt 0)
It seems clear to me that Schmidt was talking about using brand as a signal - just not exclusively. In other words, they are still working to identify "quality" content in addition to rewarding those businesses who have built a brand... because Google's end users like brands.
It was 2009 (two years later) when Update Vince [webmasterworld.com] clearly rewarded many big brands. However, we still don't know exactly what factors define a brand in Google's eyes,