Google introducing brand links to SERPS – Factors and Impact examined

by Peter Young on April 30, 2010 · 3 comments

Malcolm Coles posted this yesterday on his blog – however I was very interested to see the addition of ‘brand links’ to the search results pages. Certainly it would appear to add yet further weight to many theories surrounding Google’s support for brands within the SERPS.

Some initial analysis is this a fairly controlled rollout, and affects product related terms in particular. Terms such as football club, hotels and a number of other failed to return any reference to brands as part of the search – however one can’t help thinking this may be rolled out once the status quo has been established via initial testing

Some of my initial theories as to factors for inclusion were search volumes however some initial analysis would suggest this is a limited factor. Take for example golf clubs below:

Run the term as golf clubs through the keyword tool, and the following results are displayed (tried this both US and UK – and exact + broad/phrase/exact)

As you can see other brands such as Mizuno and Wilson are prominent terms in terms of search volumes however have not been included within the options available at the top. Within the American Market, the Teitlest brand was also one that had significant traction in terms of searches on this term -yet wasn’t included in the recommended brand results.

Further to this, Google do use other sources for data in other tools at their disposal – ie Comscore etc. This would thus suggest that Google may use also use this data within their evaluation prior to inclusion. There is also the likelihood of human manipulation which can’t be excluded….

One has to suggest in its current format, potential impact on SME’s could be limited. Certainly the majority of the terms tested above have established markets with a very small number of new entrants to the market, however it is not inconceivable that Google will roll this out to extended terms at some point in the near future. Should this move into more service based sectors, I can’t help thinking this may then start to impact significantly on smaller operators many of whom rely on organic search for a cost-effective route to market.

Further analysis is certainly required on this and I am currently looking at overlaying this data across a number of the ASP’s over the coming weeks – with the post obviously to follow.

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