milosevic - 8:29 am on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)
@Harry, I appreciate I played devil's advocate in my previous post somewhat and was perhaps a little sardonic in my humour, so sorry if I caused any offence.
It seems your position is that because a brand is more established and has offline presence, it's inherently better than one that doesn't. I would disagree with this, both philosophically and from personal experience.
Small/new brands that are getting things right shouldn't be penalised (further than they are by current algorithms) purely for not being established entities. Many brands can deliver the best value purely because they concentrate on the online sphere and don't try to compete with the big players in traditional markets.
Searches are not all commercial in nature and lack a defined line between those that are informational and commercial. A site with worse information being ranked higher because it was mentioned on the radio is not good for users.
@tedster - For sure, I was never disputing that, I just don't think that things which are clearly unrelated to online experience and difficult to link to them (such as subjective judgements of a brand's visual identity, or whether they have a range of merchandise or not) should be seriously considered as ranking factors.