Here's a new way of looking at branding, now that it matters. So far, I've read about people focusing on SEO classics only like good contents, links, conversion, readability, unique contents, usability etc.
What I haven't see is people focusing on new metrics that cannot lie. Signs that your Web property is a brand and not just a scrapper or a fly by night operation.
Here are some examples.
1-A Twitter account that's more than links from contents from your site where you are involved in a discussion with the public.
2-A Facebook Web site with original contents not found on the main site, or contents that offers value added benefits that users would not find on the original Web property - a site that goes beyond just hosting a message board and answering users' questions.
3-A real distinctive visual identity that can exist outside of the Web.
5-A Physical newsletter, or similar contents available as printed material and sold on offline networks.
6-Custom gear, props, with your brand.
7-Participation in an industry or a public event like a local festival, not only as a sponsor, but as a guest/speaker.
8-Offline third party recognition, references. For example quotes from a local newspaper on an article where they interviewed you on a specific topic
9-An endowment or prize under your property's.
10-Mix media contents, like a podcast, a YouTube channel show, or a cable show.
Can you find more and how a search engine like Google could grab feeds and meta data on all these new branding metrics and treat your Web property as a real brand as opposed to another "content" site?