TheOptimizationIdiot - 4:52 am on Apr 20, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 5:30 am (utc) on Apr 20, 2013]
One thing I keep thinking about "brands" is it may not necessarily be "a Google bias", but rather their visitors have a bias, and they have to please their visitors, because I've been to quite a few shopping malls and malls really can't discriminate (have a bias) due to "name".
As long as a business, regardless of name, can [prove they can] pay the rent and there's an open space, a mall can't say, "Well, you don't have the right name name, so sorry, you can't have the space.", but what I have seen time and again is "no names" last for 6 months to a year in a mall, then get replaced, not because the mall itself has a bias (it would be a huge lawsuit if they did) but because the people shopping do and the shoppers don't bother with the name they don't know. (IOW: The mall didn't decide they didn't want what the "no name" had to offer, the visitors to the mall did.)
So, the "brand is better" reasoning could be along the lines of: Visitors like a brand better based on behavior. Google tries to please visitors and sees visitor behavior indicating a brand is a better result. Google tries to show brands more often algorithmically. (However they determine what a brand is algorithmically.)
That's really not them being biased, imo, it's them showing their visitors what their visitors indicate, based on behavior, they want to see the most often, which happens to be brands.
Personally, I highly doubt they give a fylin f*ck what the name of a business or site is, as long as a site/business is what they get the indication their visitors are most likely to want to see based on behavior that's what they'll try to show more often and higher in the organic rankings.
That's not a bias on Google's part, because they're fair about what they show by not really caring wtf the business/site is but rather showing visitors WETF it is they want (or expect) to see most/highest in the results, based on behavior. The actual bias present in that type of situation is on the part of visitors.
A bias on Google's part, imo, would be if they got the indication their visitors wanted to see brands more often and they kept showing "no names" at the top of the results.
[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 5:30 am (utc) on Apr 20, 2013]