How Much Weight Does Google Put on Brands For Rankings?
There are many different factors that affect the search engine rankings. But many webmasters are wondering if Google is putting more weight on brands in rankings. This is one of the hot topics because brand queries are often associated with long tail keywords and these keywords are being affected with Google’s recent algorithm changes.
Matt Cutts, a Google engineer who communicates with the search engine community, answered this as best as possible. When Google looks at queries related to brands, they don’t particularly focus on the brand. They are looking at the brand related keywords with things like trust, authority, reputation, page rank, and quality content in mind.
While relevance is important, it doesn’t matter whether the original query was associated with a search for content, the brand itself, shopping related behavior, or other types of purposes. Google will focus on relevance and show the best results possible to their users.
As a basic example, if you search for the keyword ‘equinox’, you will find that the search engine rankings show a site dedicated to a magazine called equinox. You will also find the Chevy Equinox SUV as one of the results as well as the definition of equinox by Wikipedia. Then there’s an Equinox resort & spa, restaurant and results related to software.
What Google is attempting to do when it comes to brand keywords and just about any other keywords is to try to deliver relevant results based on authority, reputation, page rank, and the quality of the site. Their focus is trying to present the best results for their users.
So what can you do to rank high for brand keywords? According to Matt Cutts, you should focus on creating a great site. Google is looking for an authority in the niche, even if it’s a smaller niche. That’s why it’s important that you create content that appeals to the audience and the market.
Think about what kind of content people would want to read about and would enjoy. This results in other sites linking back to your site naturally. It creates a buzz around your market and Google will notice that your site has become an authority, rewarding you with good search engine rankings.
While it’s true that the search engine rankings have been changing a bit lately, you have to remember that Google makes changes every year. Matt Cutts notes that there are around 300-400 changes annually so the latest changes are not a major shifting point. It’s just a regular update Google is making in order to focus on quality.
In conclusion, you should focus on become an authority in your niche if you want good search engine rankings. Google wants to reward high quality sites whether the queries are commercial oriented or information oriented so keep creating high quality content that your audience wants to read.