frankleeceo - 10:02 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)
I think brand signals and user metric is really hard for Google to figure out. Maybe they uptick or turn the knobs on user metrics which mess up the SERP of relatively smaller sites vs brands. Which causes the "manipulation" that we see. What if it's a byproduct of some perfectly neutral signals (if we take the idea of brand out of equation).
If the average joe search for something, they might browse the "brand" sites for additional pages simply because they "hope" the "brands" have the things that they need. Even if their initial hits do not match.
In contrary, if an average joe hits a mismatched page with a unknown brand, they may browse less or go back to the SERP's faster.
Like if I search for widget.
I get two results
Widigets.com vs Target.
I visit widgets.com and don't find what I am looking for, I would immediately jump.
But if I get into target, I may use Target's site search box to search for widget again (in the case that Google landed in a bad mismatched page)
What is Google is grading "Target" more highly than widgets.com simply of my average Joe user behavior who simply "trusts" Target more? Then "Brands" will inevitable gain more visibility.
Big brands do have the upper hand in keeping some sort of user's benefit of the doubt. But it's simply in design of our natural human mind, but because Google turns the knob for the Brand's "trust" factor.
Could the "manipulation" simply be the result of unfortunate alignment or user behavior vs brand behaviors?
What I mean is, a turning up in a perfect logical ranking signal that "benefit" brands in essence. But if you argue it, it's simply a ranking signal that "good sites" supposed to have, brands simply obtain those signal because...they are brands - not because they offer a good product or website.