There was an interesting article lately published on ViperChill.com about a case study they did on the Google first page results.
They found 16 big brands dominating Google first page for money making terms, ‘money keywords’ or ‘generic’ keywords as we call them.
Which is sad, of course, because if true then it can only mean two things:
First, that medium or small businesses will never reach the first page because they have no budget to conduct large-scale marketing campaigns as the big guys do.
Second, that Google results are biased and manipulated by the same engineers that maintain their ranking algorithms.
Which in turn says a lot about all the white-hat preaching and webmaster guidelines and the literature spread for more than five years now.
And again, why only 16 brands?
The author claims that all the rest are champions competing with giants. The article stems from a case study so it is constrained by principle to particular niches and cannot cover the entire web.
Still, it is indicative of what could be happening in other industries. We all see big guys in our everyday research on Google. So, why not be right after all?
The article starts by investigating how a few big brands of the same group in the women’s fashion industry, are using their authority to build up the rankings for a new website of theirs.
The impressive thing is that they use old-school tactics that supposedly do not work anymore and can penalize a site!
The phenomenon extends to more industries as shown in the article, namely News, Tech, Games, Music, Food, Family, Sports, Reference to name but a few.
And another impressive thing that speaks about the quality of results. Not only they are manipulating the results with a footer, navigational or another type of site-wide backlinks to their new website, but they use broad keywords or money keywords, which also speak for their SEO managers.
No Google Panda, no Penguin has hit them so far, and their sprouts continue to rank high. So, if one accepts all the above conditions, questions emerge.
1. Are those algorithms touching the small guys only?
2. Is there a filter or some flag that the big guys are untouchable because they spend a lot on advertising?
3. Do the old-school tactics still work? What about the Google webmaster guidelines? Google has warned repeatedly about large-scale tactics like these.
Facts are facts, and regardless if any of the above is true or false, the facts show that big brands are today dominating the search results.
And an opinion here. I do believe that those things happen as I see them every day when using Google. I also think that there is a way of changing this situation by doing things better than the big guys do, with less budget and absolutely ‘white-hat’ tactics against their gray or black hat, in all cases questionable tactics.