The Google Vince Update 2009

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In January of 2009, Google’s algorithm saw another update that shifted focus to benefit big brands in search results.

This was a shift to favour better ranking for established brands over smaller sites that had put time and effort into improving their onsite SEO.

This was seen as a way to establish trust and guarantee quality results as established brands were considered to be authoritative in their field, even if their site did not meet the previous standards required to rank highly.

Goggle’s CEO at the time was Nat Ives, who had made comments in 2008 on the reliability of information found on the internet. He went on to make it clear that he believed established brands were trustworthy sources. In hindsight, it is clear that Google was going to roll out an update to address this.

Sites that Google considered to be authoritative such as big brands or .gov sites started to rank more highly for high-volume keywords from the end of January into February 2009.

The result of this update was the switch between big brands and affiliate marketers that previously held higher SERP positions. This was seen as an unfair advantage being handed to already massive brands.

The truth of the matter is that Google was simply doing what it set out to do by providing trusted results from authoritative sources. Previous updates had targeted sites for using spammy SEO tactics to manipulate the system and achieve more visibility.

Big brands had already built a reputation and would typically have a clean link profile from relevant and respected sources.


The Main Focus of the Algorithm Update

While it may not have seemed fair to smaller companies that had worked to achieve a high ranking, the Vince update was implemented to provide more relevant and trusted search results. By favouring bigger brands, Google leaned on the trust already installed in them by the public, who helped them grow.


How to Protect Your Site Against This Algorithm Update

If you were a smaller site that was overtaken by a large, global brand, there wouldn’t be much you could do. Much like a major supermarket opening on the same street as a small independent trader, focusing on providing a great service and focusing on more specialist niches or keywords, in this case, would ensure you still get visitors.

An SEO specialist in Newcastle with a wealth of experience in SEO strategy, auditing, consultancy & training. Sam is also passionate about emerging and new technologies, particularly in the web3 space, where there are a wealth of disruptive businesses doing great things to create better products and processes.

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