diberry - 6:08 pm on Apr 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
Web sites created by companies that have an established Brand are ranking higher - (and its not because some Googler sits there checking them off for higher rankings) - understanding why sites of this "ilk" are moving up is important for everyone.
I've been thinking about this. Part of how brands become brands - not just online, but since time began - is by spending money on advertising.
If I'm right about any of this (big if!), then yeah, spending on Adwords would boost your "trust" signals with Google - not because you're giving them money, but because "advertising budget" is something the algo tracks. So there might be a correlation between Adwords spending and higher organic rankings (and as others are pointing out, this wouldn't reduce the Adwords spending because SERIOUS brands want to dominate the whole page, just being #1 isn't enough for them). Caveat: I still say that if your Adwords ads get poor results like non-converting visitors, they could work against you if the algo is tracking signals that people didn't like your page for the query you bought.
Before anybody grumbles, I can't afford much of an ad spend and also do not like the idea that Google may have an algo factor that essentially rewards people for spending more. But our feelings don't matter. What matters is figuring out how best to compete. For example, if I'm right, I might be smarter to invest in some modest ad buys rather than, say, a faster server.
(Not to mention there can be "free" ways to advertise: put flyers up at a college campus, church, Walmart, etc., with your URL or even tell people "Just Google us!" with your "domain name" for branding purposes. Network more and hand out more business cards with your domain. Take out a Craigslist ad with your URL, if it makes sense and isn't just spamming them. There's always a way.)