In February, Google updated their search algorithm in what has been dubbed the “Vince Update”.
The update seemed to give more prominent positioning in search queries to big brands.
The background to the Vince update can be traced back to Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, who in October 2008 commented that the “internet is fast becoming a "cesspool" where false information thrives”.
Schmidt added that brands were serious indicators that content could be trusted and added that "Brands are the solution, not the problem," and that "brands are how you sort out the cesspool." Schmidt continued that "brand affinity is clearly hard wired," and is "so fundamental to human existence that it's not going away. It must have a genetic component.”
Against this background, Vince received mixed feelings with outcry from certain parts of the search industry who felt that big brands were receiving too much advantage. Several industry experts ran queries to prove that big brands were getting greater exposure but what is the overall to the average user.
Matt Cutts, Google Moderator posted a video response to the question and summarises that Google does not go out to give big brands direct advantage but aims to produce quality query results. Cutts states that Vince is not so much about brands, but about elements that go into a brand, including “trust, authority, reputation, PageRank, high quality.”
(Helping hand: when Matt Cutts speaks of nitch he’s talking about a niche!)
“I don’t think of it as putting more weight on brands. We really don’t think about ‘brands’ in Search Quality that much,” Cutts added “It’s not that we try to always return brands. We try to return whatever we think the best results are for users.”
In the United Kingdom however the “simple update” has had a very negative impact in some cases. Examples abound of sites being dropped form page one to obscurity and that smaller sites cannot compete against big brands that have “reputation” and certainly huge budgets.
A moderating point of view is that Google is continually updating their search structure and change will inevitably occur to your ranking. SEO is a continually evolving industry and WebMarketing Group are well positioned to stay up to date and ensure your website continues to rank and compete
Contact The WebMarketing Group to carry out a free website analysis on 0845 555 5040
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