Whitey - 1:02 am on Apr 20, 2013 (gmt 0)
No, definitely not for lots of reasons learned over the years
NONE of the brands I work with or compete against appear to have reduced their ad spend, even with stellar organics. I don't either
@Randle / Netmeg - are the verticals you're associated with, perhaps fundamentally different and does that play into this. e.g. niche, local. I mean could you anticipate that other verticals may not work the same way due to issues around margin, scale and of course intense competition.
Maybe a brand signal is all about volume of brand searches (i.e. thousands or tens of thousands per day) no matter the niche? If so what hope do small businesses have?
To scale brand you need to spend money smartly with good expertise behind it. How you fund campaigns and resource the skills in support is another issue. Somehow Google has to measure brand signals relative to others to give you the edge, so knowing what your competitors are doing is perhaps an indication of what you should be taking note of.
Amit Singhal simply says that probability is a driver for Google Suggest, so it's reasonable to assume that in promoting relevance the probability surrounding the brand is somehow baked into the normal search algo. In paid search, perhaps that also plays into the quality score with Google again recognising brand. Who knows.
As the 2012 SEC filing says, from Google's standpoint, they simply focus on serving relevant content.
Strategically, Google cannot have one player dominating otherwise it would loose it's grip. So there must be other churn factors involved, which makes me wonder if this promotion of organic brands will last.
One possibility is that the massive changes brought about by Panda/Penguin and promoting brands into the organics is part of an interim plan to encourage a more balanced and competitive playing field amongst quality driven sites. If the critical mass of smaller sites improves in terms of quality it could be a good thing all round for those that survive.
The problem with a lot of SEO advisory is that it has been hijacked over the years by the need to compete with black hat and low quality cookie cutter techniques and neglected the visitor. Do business well in areas of neglect, then enable it for SEO. That's the challenge that folks should probably be focusing on, rather than if Google makes more money than them. Playing Robin Hood [ rob the rich to feed the poor ] is a waste of time strategy. And that I suppose feeds into brand strategies and perhaps working with them, at times, to your advantage.
So in another set of senses, brands do have the upper hand - they perform better and they have the resources to reinvent themselves better. But they can rarely move quickly or be good on personalised levels.
Having said that, how long is it going to be before Google rewards sites for climbing out of the small/medium bucket with tidy ups and UI's with equal content quality, to compete with Brands - it has to be supported in some way by Google. Have we been deceived or is there a flaw in the current algorithm?
This whole Panda / Penguin / Brand / Geo-Local / Personal way of re ordering things, with Brand the highest of the ranking signal factors, I think, is one of the biggest turning points of recent times.