There’s always been a feeling that big brands hold a special position in Google’s heart. Sites of big brands get better ranks because they match up to the Google algorithm – whether it’s in terms of authority, quality score, links or social signals.
Why do you see Wikipedia almost everywhere? It positions awesomely because it has loads of content and a huge number of links that point towards it. So Google doesn’t really prefer brands – Wikipedia is simply algorithmically fantastic. It works like this. If you’re fulfilling many more specifications on the algorithm as compared to your competitors, Google rewards you with a high ranking within the search results.
Big brands and searches
When you’re a big brand, you get automatic help with certain algorithmic factors, which include perceived quality and site authority. Importantly, you have brand affinity. Users are more familiar with brands and user intent becomes directly “target the store” instead of “target the options”. This is what makes the difference.
Big brands and penalties
A lot of big brands have some direct link at Google. This means that someone from Google will get in touch if they happen to cross a line.
Sites of big brands are in a better position to survive Google penalties as compared to small or medium businesses. This is partly because their sites are stronger and partly because the penalties result in limited damage. So even though brands lose keyword traffic, they do not have to sacrifice their entire website.
Some feel that this happens because of Google’s leniency towards these sites while others feel it’s simply brand preference. Personally, I’m of the opinion that the reason for this is a bunch of algorithmic factors. You could also call them “expectancy factors” or “should be there factors”.
Some sites figure in Google’s index – not simply because Google feels they need to be there but because users feel so. User searches have indicated that they expect certain sites to show up. If these don’t appear, users might think that Google is doing a lousy job.
So Google protects its reputation by trying to limit penalty effects on bigger brands. It issues warnings and helps them quickly recover in case a penalty causes greater damage. Whatever the case, big brands are like huge ships which can face any penalty storm while small and medium businesses are like small rafts in comparison.
What can you learn from big brands?
If you want your small or medium business site to achieve the same success as that of big brands, what should you do? Start caring about what big brands are doing.
You need to have similar awesome algorithms, expectancy, and authority. You will probably end up losing your ranking, your homepage and other pages if you engage in practices that violate guidelines stipulated by Google.
Your site needs to send out the same signals that big brands do. If you copy the good things brands do well, you’ll get some quality and authority points from Google.
Google needs to know there’s a good company with good people behind these signals. Signals indicate to Google that here’s a site that’s well taken care of, the company is wide awake at the top, and the site will be a great product.
The websites of all large brands are not uniformly fabulous. In fact, many of them are quite the opposite. This is an area in which you can get ahead of them.