It was strongly anticipated that Google was preparing itself to add more weight in the rankings to those sites whom have associated "trust" and are "brand leaders". The reason being that these "market leading websites" should be trusted and essentially allows another mechanism for Google to determine good websites from Spam.
In the US this has been seen for a while and there have been claims that the same has been seen in the UK. However, the last few days has been the fiirst time that we have clearly seen a change in positions for some of our Clients. We are delighted that our ongoing strategy of technical hygiene, relevant content delivery and organic link generation has allowed them to ride this wave caused by the algorithm update.
In the financial sector we have seen Clients' sites move from page 3 to the top of page 1 for key volume driving terms.
In the legal sector we have seen a Client move from the bottom to the top of page one on their key search phrase (for which we consider them to be the market leaders).
In the insurance sector we have seen a Client finally get onto page one for their main search phrase (after 3 years of trying!).
The two most important things to take from this is that it adds further weight to the "quality rather than quantity" argument regarding inbound links. It also pushes the case for effective PR activity which includes a robust strategy for generating authoritative, digital coverage - to generate "trust" in your brand. As always, these SEO tactics should add value and work in conjunction with all other areas of marketing strategy. There is less and less reason to keep SEO activity separate from your overall marketing mix.
For a reminder about how Matt Cutts (Google employee and SEO Sage) described the use of Trust in the algorithm: