Its been a long 48 hours in the field of Search Marketing with many of the SEO experts commenting on what they believe to be Google’s latest shift in algorithm. The experts believe that Google seems to be favouring big brands in ranking results. Although it is American data, it has been witnessed that American airlines have come out of nowhere and are now ranking for “airline tickets” and there are many others that seem to be benefiting from the rise.
So why would Google favour brands?
It seems absolutely out of character for Google to make such a change given that their ethos is centred around relevancy not brand. It seems that recent commentary from Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google provides hints to the problem Google is facing.
He says The internet is fast becoming a “cesspool” where false information thrives. “Brands are the solution, not the problem,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”
So this brings 2 key issues in the Web 2.0 world that we currently exist in;
1) As consumers are becoming less trusting of brands and more trusting of their community, it seems absurd that Google would deliver consumers more of what they don’t want – which is more brand messages from the big corporates?
2) How independent will content be that we must consume, if brands continue to push their own agenda?
Are SEOs to blame?
But inline with the theme of the article, the bigger question really is whether or not SEOs are to blame for the possible change in Google’s algorithm. Search results are not based on what is most relevant to the user, they are based on what SEOs have done to make them most relevant. In particular blackhat SEOs have contributed to the results being littered with junk and somehow Google has to eradicate this.
In a world where user experience/engagement is crucial has Google done what any site would do if they found it would make a significant improvement in their user experience?
Are there any Australian brands that you have seen rapidly increase rankings in the past few weeks?