This afternoon we have been looking at some of the Google search results for some of the branded search terms that we have been tracking and it seems that the branded element that Google have continuously spoken about seems to have been given the biggest boost to date following a shake-up of branded search results.
We have looked at a number of brands following the recognition that the search engine results were being overrun with pages from the particular brand being searched and found that Google have now created a new look for themselves which would in theory prevent third party websites being able to outrank the brand, a common trick that affiliate webmasters have looked to undertake in recent years.
A look at the Google search results showed that the brand was credited with the number one placement in the rankings while indent results were then being displayed for the site, taking up further placements on the search engine results pages:
As you can see from the image above, the number of organic search placements on the first page of the results that are displayed once you have executed a search has been reduced, with each row of indented links making up one of the original 10 placements available, in many cases now reducing the number of placements that you may be able to target to just 60% of the former availability.
Although it seems that there are still 6 placements available for other sites to be able to obtain, a look at many of the results show that social networking sites that relate to the brand are being displayed, showing that Google are clearly looking to clean up their brand search queries and present users with as much information about the company that they can:
Google seem to offer more than one layout in terms of what sort of information is displayed about the brand on the first page of the search results, with those that are covered in Google News seeing a section being added into the rankings area, others with related videos and images are also seeing those being merged into the results but more interestingly, it seems that Google Shopping is now being found within the rankings:
The move comes interestingly as reports of a second Panda rollout has been speculated by the online community, but although it seems that Google are still to confirm that Panda #22 may have been pushed into their results, the branded re-jig is a definite alteration judging by the number of instances that we have seen these findings for both international and local brands.
So with the changes, lets have a look at what our keyword tracking tool now shows for the top 32 positions of that term and compare them with the results that we see listed above:
Remember that we have looked at a number of branded search terms and this is the same thing that we have seen across the board, so it looks like Google really are going to be looking towards brand protection, which will be sure to ruffle a few feathers within the affiliate markets to say the very least!