Matt Cutts has confirmed that recent changes in Google’s algorithm that has lead to a surge in bigger brands appearing among the top results of Goole’s SERPs. According to Matt Cutts though the changes did not result from Google’s bias towards known brands but due to their commitment to give users the best possible results, which as Google sees it are sites that score well in terms of “trust, reputation, authority, [and] PageRank.” Of course since big brands usually have all these elements going for them then it shouldn’t be surprising that they will do better as Google refines their algorithm.
Sites that can not lay claim to an established reputation need not be alarmed about the efficacy of their current SEO efforts because according to Matt Cutts “what you should be doing doesn’t change: try to make a great site. Try to make it a site that is so fantastic that you become known as an authority in your niche, and it doesn’t have to be a big niche. It doesn’t have to be a huge, well known keyword. It can be a smaller niche, and if you’re still the expert, that’s the sort of thing that people are going to want to link to, that they’ll talk about, the sort of thing people really enjoy. Those are the sorts of sites, the experts, that we want to bring back.”
In short we can still count on Google to continue in their efforts to provide the best results for search users and so weed out sites that do not give much value to users. So continue with building your site quality (reputation, links, content, etc.) because the next algo change is coming again soon. That we can count on since Google makes hundreds of changes to their ranking algorithm each year!
For a detailed discussion on the Google’s stand about branding watch Matt Cutt’s You Tube video “Is Google putting more weight on brands in rankings?”