We all know about the chaos that follows upon the regular tweaks in the Google PageRank algorithm. (John Batelle’s book
has some chilling stories about the impact these changes can have on small online businesses.) But here’s a new allegation:
Since the beginning of this year, increasing numbers of big brands are appearing in the top ten search results on competitive generic search queries. They are elbowing out of the way thousands of lesser sites in the process. No-one is quite sure why this has happened, but some suspect that changes to Google’s algorithm made in February dubbed the ‘Vince update’ (after the Google engineer that made them) are responsible. This has benefited big brands to the detriment of smaller players.
And Google’s response? See below.