There is a lot of chatter about big brands having some type of “advantage” when it comes to search engine ranking. I do not think this is true.
I do not think Google gives big brands ANY advantage just because they are big brands. And while I’m sure the Truthers and Preppers out there will disagree with me, let me explain my thinking.
#1: Big Brands Earn It
Unfortunately, I see far too many people who don’t give their Internet marketing the attention it deserves – and then expect great things! Sure, it’s not rocket-science, but then neither is becoming an Olympic athlete. Making the US Olympic teams takes a lot of work, a lot of dedication, focus, and a lot of “know how.” The same is true when it comes to getting top ranked at Google (and your Internet marketing in general). Big brands get top rankings because they work hard at getting them, they focus on getting them, they’ve earned them.
#2: Big Brands Have a Lot of Money
If you have a lot of money you have more flexibility, more choices, and ultimately a competitive advantage. That said, money isn’t everything and the Internet has in many ways leveled the playing field.
Yes, Nordstrom (selling bridesmaids dresses) is going to have an advantage when it comes to Internet marketing, compared to say a small-to-mid sized local bridal shop, but only because they have a bigger budget and more to spend on Internet marketing and search engine optimization.
Target might have better rankings at Google compared to a local “Mom & Pop” hardware store that is selling outdoor grills, lawnmowers, and swimming pool supplies, but this mostly occurs because Target is more effectively managing their overall Internet Marketing Strategy <link>.
When you do things better than your competition you get better results.
So the question is: Do you give up and let the big brands eat your cake, or do you fine-tune your performance, like an Olympic athlete, and give it 100% working smarter and more effectively?
Be honest and ask yourself: Am I doing things well, or is my Internet marketing on the back-burner or being sidetracked most of the time?
#3 Big Brands Create More Influence
Successful Internet marketing, and getting top ranked at Google, boils down to TWO words:
The more online visibility you have, the more impact you leave on people who find you, the more you interact with them in the socialsphere, the more you INFLUENCE them (and by doing these things you get them and their “friends” to follow you), the more successful your Internet marketing will be. These things ALL impact your search engine rankings too!
Big brands know the value of influence and have for years. Traditionally, they built and created influence in print, on television, and the radio. Now they are doing it on the Internet and putting more emphasis there because that is where consumers “engage” with them.
#4 Big Brands Get More Inbound Links
Links that point to your online assets, whether they be to your website, blog, Facebook page, or Google Places listing, all are looked at as a “vote of confidence” by Google. The more votes of confidence you get the better your rankings. Where those votes of confidence are from plays an important role.
It sort of reminds me of being one of the most popular people in High School, which I was not. Those individuals always got the most attention, deserving or not!
Links are another critically important “influence” factor.
Big brands have an advantage in that people link to them “naturally” – they don’t have to ask for links. If I have a great buying experience at Old Navy, I’m likely to blog about it or post something about it at Facebook, both with a link to http://www.oldnavy.com.
Creating a great experience offline or online, and creating high-value content (articles, videos, blog posts, infographics) all will get people to “naturally” link to your site.
Another good example of this actually proved out is Pinterest. At Pinterest, if you have good “content,” in other words, pictures or “pins” as they are called, people naturally, WITHOUT ASKING, re-pin your content.
Take a look at my Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/chrisjaeger/