ColourOfSpring - 7:42 pm on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)
Question to a developer: how does Google automatically program to favor only brands so that whatever a non-brand is can't get in on it?
Surely they don't that manually.
They suggest (not me) it is primarily link oriented.
You imply that white-listing is "surely" hard to do. I'm not saying they do that (though it may be the case), but it's one of the easier things to do if they wanted to go that route. There's a relatively small number of big brands in any given niche. Why is it hard for Google to identify them? Many fashion searches on google.co.uk reveal a who's who of typical high street brands in the UK. If you're talking about fashion in the UK, I'd say there are 15 to 20 major big brands. I could list them if you give me an hour of research based on turnover, number of high street branches, advertising spend (and Google would have a CLEAR insight into that via Adwords). In fact, Google could identify big brands by Adwords spend alone (or at least as a filter). Big brands by their very nature are easily identifiable from a "manual" point of view.
But I hear your cynical laughter already - yes, Google do everything 100% automated, it's all algorithm...yes, yes of course. I'm just presenting an alternative possiblity.
My personal opinion is that Google use links - big brands naturally have a larger reach than a small business when it comes to links. They will win links from august media sites (NOT even advertorials, but things like financial articles that delve into a big brands finances via ft.com and the like) - "bigness" begets the kind of links small businesses can never hope to get. And so it's a case of "might is right" - very expedient for Google to elect that method of determination, but from the look of the SERPs, that's where we are.