Over the past year large brands have been extending their sites out, adding interactive features which leverage their brand value and trust against niche user generated content. Consider the following:
- most of the most popular blogs are now controlled by the mainstream media
- about half of the magazine sites surveyed here had forums
- MTV's Niches: From Headbangers to Bible-Thumpers
- Yahoo! is taking it one step further and creating 100 branded communities for people to discuss various passionate brands belonging to other companies
Many of these sites will rank easy with few external citations. As a marketer, the idea of leveraging the brands of MTV or large magazine sites to rank is quite appealing. Given that people are getting better at creating blended spam (ie: spam that doesn't look like spam) and how many authoritative content aggregation and mainstream media sites are allowing anyone to create content I am curious to see where Google's algorithms are headed next. They probably can't have more than a year left of placing so much trust on the core domain names before Google's SERPs start looking like
Swiss spam cheese.
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