Branding is an interesting issue when it comes to search engine ranking. Many people are under the impression that big brands are somehow shown favour by the likes of Google, because we always seem to see the “big names” of our industries at the top of the search results. Indeed, Google has said that it wants to favour brands.
Ask yourself this, however: can Google tell if the Blue Widget Company is a well-known brand and the Red Widget Company an unknown Chinese ripoff? At extremes, it might be possible. When it comes to ranking your company and an everyday competitor, any dispassionate comparison is going to be very unreliable indeed.
So I think we can assume that there’s no machine-assessed “brand strength rating” going on.
But Google can get the same effect without there needing to be such a thing. This is because as buyers, we favour known brands, and unknowingly, we do Google’s work for it. If we see a result from the obscure Red Widget Company at the top of the search results, and another from the recognised Blue Widget Company brand further down the page, a lot of us will click on the second one initially. And this will be what Google measures. If searchers consistently click on a result further down the page in preference to a top one, you can be sure that their positions will be changed around promptly.
So what’s the take-away? It’s this: if you have a recognisable brand name, ensure that it appears prominently in your search results, as in the simple example below. Craft those page titles with the same care as we do when creating AdWords adverts.