I wrote earlier about what some were calling the Google Pirate update, which was affecting those sites with DMCA requests against them. Since then ive seen and heard of a number of sites which rely heavily on branded terms with severe ranking and traffic fluctuations from Google with ended as abruptly as they started. In addition to this theres a few reasons why I think that there is either a new update of Google Pirate 1.2 update imminent.
- We know from the Google Pirate / DMCA update that sites infringing trademarks or rather accused of doing so in many cases saw ranking drops. Might Google extend this one step further and punish sites relying on branded terms, trademarked or otherwise?
- Google recently reduced the number of search results for branded terms to 7 , which ensures that those brand owners were more likely to get clickthroughs (people unlikely to go to page 2 for a branded search).
- It makes sense that if someone is searching for ‘dell computers’ to increase the likelihood of them getting to the dell.com web site. Hmm im not so sure.
As my last point alludes to it isnt necessarily a great idea to reduce the visibility of non brand name owners appearing for branded terms. Consumers want to see 3rd party reviews, impartial feedback and where they can get the products at the best price. That is rarely available at the brand owners site so punishing sites that retail or aggregate branded products and services doesnt make too much sense.
Watch this space.