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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Google Announces “Vince” Update – The Big Brand Ranking Mystery Explained

Posted by @ 5:18 pm

Only last week we discussed what appeared to be a Google algorithm change which seemed to be favoring big brand ranking on prime category keywords.

Well, this week it’s official. Google has confirmed the “change” to the their algorithm which is giving big brands a helping hand in their SEO efforts. The confirmation and explanation coming via a video from Matt Cutts.

In a nutshell, Google aren’t promoting the algorithm tweak as an update but rather just a change to enhance the value of ‘trust’ factors. As he says in the video:

Inside of Google, at least inside the search ranking team, we don’t really think about brands. We think about words like ‘trust’ ‘authority’ ‘reputation’ ‘PageRank’ ‘high quality

And apparently it’s adjustments to these elements in the ranking process that are the basis of the big brand ranking changes we’ve noted over the past few weeks. However Matt’s quick to assert that the changes are only visible on a relatively small number of queries.

Here’s the video for you to digest in its entirety. And if you’d rather read the transcript, head over to David Harry’s post on huomah. (note: don’t be confused by references to “brandy” …that’s just a play on words. The real brandy update happened back in 2004)

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As David points out in his post, it suggests an increase in the value of tradition trust factors in the algorithm such as domain age, linkage etc – on certain queries.

As Matt states, there’s nothing in the algo change to radically impact your current SEO plans and strategies – just more the same fundamentals.

If you’ve seen any improvements thanks to the Vince update, share your ranking stories with us below.

Want to reduce the effect of Google’s updates on your ranking? Then check out G-Boost. With ongoing directory linking, we help to ensure that your ranking is not only maintained, but boosted every month!

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (3 - comments)

I presume when Cutts uses the terms ‘trust’ ‘high-quality’ and ‘reputation’ – it will mean in terms of particular brand-names Google can ‘trust’ to be the MOST PROFITABLE (Ad)-words they sell to show you what search results it deems relevant.

Someday ain’t far off, when Page 1 of Google SERPs will be even more dominated by Corporate brands and purely shopping-based results. **This update leaves less room for ‘lesser’ sites to get seen.** I foresee a day when SEO companies will soon be promising “Get Seen On PAGE TWO of Google – GUARANTEED!”

Scarey isn’t it? Google is redefining and assigning a dollar value to every word in our vocabulary. With every search, with every AdSense click we make, Goog is placing a price on the world’s dictionary. Soon it will decide that half the words in it aren’t ‘worth it’ – and hence is no longer important for YOU to even be bothered with seeing. Google “Suggest” drop-down menus are now suggesting the most profitable terms out there – their brilliant suggestions clearly aggregated from AdWords/AdSense metrics.

This shift to Brand-weighting may have been inevitable, but I don’t like the implications for site owners that aren’t in the Fortune 500… :)

By MacGizmoGuy - March 10, 2009

I think it is great, get these leeches off of my brand!

By Steve - March 19, 2009

[...] drive to big brands you have a special challenge to overcome, especially since Google has given conflicting signals over brand weight. This is doubly true if your client sells these big brands – no Ford dealership [...]

By Five SEO Cues to Look for in Search Results | Internet Marketing Blog By GILL Media - November 12, 2009

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