How Google sees branding & your brand can shine in search
I admit that I’m a bit late with this but last month I bookmarked an interesting post by Sam Battin, Senior Search Strategist at Performics, regarding Google’s brand refinements in search results.
I finally found the time to cover it and it does contain some interesting tips on top of the obvious ones. Sam starts by reminding us that spammers trying to get their all-nonsense websites that offer no authentic information, into the top ranks for specific high volume keywords have always been a major concern of Google.
No wonder Eric Schmidt once called the Internet a “cesspool”, he adds.
According to him, Google now understands the importance of search engines in promoting genuine brands online with the mentioned brand refinements in search results.
As you know, since last month the top search results in Google for every high volume keywords are showing links to brands- all relevant, authentic brands (see Google's post here).
Sam gives as an example that when, tor instance, you search for “flat panel LCD TVs”, you will find a set of links at the top of the page that says, “Brands for Flat Panel LCD TVs”.
I just typed in LCD TVs as you can see in the screenshot below.
This gives an opportunity to all genuine brands to feature there right at the top. These brand links will make it easier to find brands that most people consider useful for a particular product or service category, Sam says.
According to him, the online users will benefit from it, as they can now reach straight to a trusted brand they like by simply clicking on a link.
Now the important question is how Google chooses these brand links. This is important because there could be hundreds or thousands of brands for a given category, but Google will give place to only five of them.
How to get in the brand links: some tips
The answer to this question, Sam says, is “algorithmically”. I guess you knew that. This means every brand has a chance to appear in the brand links. However, there are many factors applicable to the algorithm, which are obviously unlikely to be disclosed by Google.
One deciding factor is definitely the number of inbound links, important in SEO in general as you know. However, a lot of inbound links means links with your brand name. These links not only tell Google that your site is authoritative and popular, and hence worthy of a prominent brand link.
Another deciding factor would be your site structure. For instance, most websites appearing on Google’s “brand links” had a large number of links to pages with unique content. This implies if your site has only one page, and you have multiple products with the descriptions for all products appearing on one URL, then there are lesser chances of you making to Google’s "Brand" links.
So, what should be your strategy?
- First, enter your keywords into Google to see if Google returns brands for these searches. Next, find out if your product or brand is displayed there in the links. Also, find out if your competitors are appearing. If yes, find out what your competitors websites have that you lack in.
- Remember if your brand and your brand’s value proposition are clear to Google, you too can appear in its “brand links”.
- Structure your whole site together with a strong, logical set of breadcrumb links that fit your product lines into a clear informational hierarchy.
- Also, give your visitors a wide variety of useful information about your products and services. Make efforts to create a strong brand identity in the minds of online users by embedding your site with product videos, animated demonstrations, forums, etc.
Read Sam’s full post here and comment away.
The author is a 360 degrees interactive marketer and serial blogger. You can connect with him on Twitter here.