Fast forward to 2014 and Searchmetrics’ annual Ranking Factors Study, where there is evidence that brands are ranking higher in results pages. They’re knocking out generic domains and other URLs competing for the same search terms, while also benefiting from greater SEO visibility in the top positions. Searchmetrics concluded that both large and niche brands are experiencing search benefits (as promised last year). Niche brands that have carved out expertise in a field can outrank a name brand for long-tail keywords that they’ve specifically targeted. On the other hand, big brands tend to outrank smaller competitors and domains for generic terms as well as long-tail keywords. Get the full story at Brafton