diberry - 3:37 pm on Apr 3, 2013 (gmt 0)
But sometimes I think the bar has been set a little too aggressively in some verticals to incentivize healthy innovation for those who are not brands.
That's what I'm thinking - "trust" is being overvalued in the algo. I don't think Google's trying to account for the feedback loop in which signals of trust develop solely because someone SEO'd their way to the top for a while and people assumed they were there for a reason.
For those of us who don't have big marketing budgets, who depend on things like organic search, word of mouth and any other free method we can come up with to get our sites out there, this means we cannot achieve trust without spending money. No matter how good our content is, we'll either need to hire SEOs to help us get it to rank amongst all the other "trusted" sites, or we'll have to buy Adwords.
So Google may not be intentionally giving more weight to brands in the algo - I'm totally willing to take their word on that, as I can see no advantage for them* - but various factors in the algo ARE much more responsive to a nice marketing budget, which brands tend to have much more of than smaller sites (and heaven forbid, one-person websites).
*If Google just wanted to make more on Adwords, it seems to me they'd put the guys with the big marketing budgets lower in the listings to force them to buy Adwords to get to the top. In many cases, they could totally justify doing this, too.