There have been plenty of cases in the SEO industry about websites picking up some penalty from google.
From a marketing viewpoint, the absence of key marketing theory can partly explain why ‘SEO cheating’ is no longer viable, and we all know that SEO is the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines.
And as branding concerned best definition of it is this one:
Branding goes way beyond just a logo or graphic element. When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience…everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff. When you look at this broad definition of branding, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about what is involved in your brand. In short, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.
I've done a numerous pages without any branding when I was a beginner in this field, and I didn't noticed any oscillation in reach and visits if I compare that pages with pages that have tip-top branding.
SEO on every site had same approach. Results are similar and expected.
So, basically, my question here is this:
Is branding in its core really that important for SEO?