Though we tend to disagree with the age old mentality that that small and medium size businesses cannot compete against larger businesses and brands online, we do know that Google does give bigger brands certain brand signals that help them rank.
Brand signals are one part of the Google search algorithm that people have been talking about for years. Though Google does not specifically favor bigger brands, certain elements of a big brand’s online marketing and reputation does dramatically help it in the search results.
These are just a few of the brand signals that we know, help a website rank in the search engines:
- Number of branded searches. Brand searches can often give you complementary treatment in the search engines. For example, thousands of searches are done daily for “Nike Shoes” or “Oakley Sun Glasses” so, Google might give preferential treatment to these brands in the search engines.
- Branded anchor text. Anchor text has always served as a ranking signal for Google but branded anchor text in particular stands out to Google due to its abundance of use.
- Facebook Pages. Brands that have a verified page with a high number of followers on Facebook seems to be a ranking factor in the search engines, even though these pages can’t be completely crawled by Google.
- Twitter Page. A verified Twitter account with a lot of followers and a lot of interactions with its followers can serve as a search signal for Google.
- Having you employees on LinkedIn and having their profiles linked back to your LinkedIn can prove to be a search signal for Google.
- Google+ Local. If you have a business that has a variety of different local listings, Google can see your business as being important both offline and online.
- Brand mentions on news sites. Really big brands get mentioned in Google News all the time and some even get their own brand feed, making Google think that they might be more relevant in the search results than other companies.
- Co-Citations are getting to be a bigger part of the Google search engines all the time. If your brand shows up next to its related products a lot, Google might give that brand an added boost in the search results.
Though brands continue to dominate the search engines but there’s no reason why you should be afraid to go up against them in the search results. Remember local listings in Google+ Places or even a sound social media policy can help your website beat the brand signals that are helping these older companies rank ahead of you.