Brand Name Anchor Text
Branded anchor text is a simple, but strong, brand signal.
Branded Searches
It’s simple: people search for brands. If people search for your site in Google (i.e.,. “Backlinko twitter”, Backlinko + “ranking factors”), Google likely takes this into consideration when determining a brand. Site Has Facebook Page and Likes Brands tend to have Facebook pages with lots of likes. Site has Twitter Profile with Followers Twitter profiles with a lot of followers signal a popular brand.
Official Linkedin Company Page
Most real businesses have company Linkedin pages which help rankings.
Employees Listed at Linkedin
Linkedin profiles may work for your company is a brand signal.
Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts
A social media account with 10,000 followers and two posts are probably interpreted a lot differently than another 10,000-follower strong account with lots of interaction.
Brand Mentions on News Sites
Really big brands get mentioned on Google News sites all the time. In fact, some brands even have their own Google News feed on the first page:
Brands get mentioned without getting linked into Google likely looks at non-hyperlinked brand mentions as a brand signal.
Number of RSS Subscribers
Considering that Google owns the popular Feedburner RSS service, it makes sense that they would look at RSS Subscriber data as a popularity/brand signal. Brick and Mortar Location With Google+ Local Listing Real businesses have offices. It’s possible that Google fishes for location data to determine whether or not a site belongs to a big brand.
Website is Tax Paying Business
Google may look at whether or not a site associated with a tax-paying business.