One of the good things about most search engines, including Google, is the fact that if you have your site properly formatted and your content easily crawled and indexed, you will most likely rank first for searches of your own brand name. Many companies or owners of websites, when considering search engine optimization, actually first started thinking about it when they found that their site or name was not ranking - or even worse, that negative articles were appearing above their site.
A thread recently started at Search Engine Watch Forums by one of the arguable leaders in the SEO industry, Barbara "Webmama" Coll, she points out that she has seen a noticeable dip in brand name rankings in the SERPs. Knowing that Barbara works with some pretty big names, this should be a topic of concern. She states
I have confirmed that a number of brand name sites are no longer showing up in their traditional #1 position. The new results do not appear consistently so it must be part of a new algorithm.
Unfortunately, not many people seem to have found this thread yet, because there has been very little input. I tested some of the pharma brands that we work with, and they fortunately are not having the same problem. However, if this is a trend and not just an anomaly, it would be nice as a community to know about it.
If you have experienced a drop in Google rankings recently on very "obvious" brand terms, or if you haven't seen such results, please stop by the Search Engine Watch Forums and share your experience.