diberry - 2:58 pm on Apr 18, 2013 (gmt 0)
There are 100's, if not 1000,s of viewers coming to these forums and nobody has categorically claimed that they have applied the above on their sites and outranked a brand consistently across a majority of terms. Either we have a lack of participation, it hasn't happened and/or Google set the bar too high.
I think this is an extremely good point that deserves more consideration, and maybe its own thread. I have owned the serps for a few isolated terms, beating all the brands for years. But it's just a few terms, and far from the most lucrative ones in my niche.
I believe netmeg has claimed to have or work with niche sites that do succeed in outranking the brands on all the best terms in that particular niche. If I'm remembering that correctly, that's the biggest David and Goliath success story I can recall from around here.
I think, however, that it's getting much harder to achieve this now. You may create a new site that visitors love, but fewer people are willing to hand out links and buying links is scary. Or you may rank wonderfully on social media, but right now that doesn't help so much on Google. So even if user response is so good that you really *should* be outranking brands, it's a lot harder to send the algo those signals than it used to be, back when it was all about links.
Which is why I'm still wondering about the possibility that buying Adwords for a phrase you really *should* be ranking for might "teach" the algo to rank you better for it... or worse, depending how visitors respond after clicking over. I still think this might explain why some people are doing better after using Adwords and others feel they're doing worse.
COS, what I meant was that you went off on a tangent about manipulating the algo in general, and I felt like I had to back up and say, "But I never said they don't manipulate it. I just don't think in this particular case it would serve their interests to do so."