A web footprint is magnified at the enterprise level, especially for the important search considerations. On the positive side, enterprise SEO brings to bear some awesome firepower. You have expansive critical mass, an automated implementation, and resources supported by revenue or investors. You can advance in competitive fields simply by allocating resources effectively across content and link builds, and if you run into trouble, you can buy expertise... Your sites should be dominating!
Achieving high level enterprise SEO is a hugely painstaking effort, because every issue is connected to others, and the number of ducks needed to be lined up can be staggering. And while most enterprise SEOs can push ranks in Google, most are not paying attention to basic search compliance. But you've learned your lesson from that last penalty, and search compliance is now high on the redesign list.
Of course, as a knowledgeable enterprise seo, you've used automation to ensure search compliance. So you know that those guys in marketing will never be able to inadvertently create an issue for the sites - post an accidental redundancy, or create an attribution problem by copying content from one of your other sites, etc. You've got that covered.
And the Italian site is clear to run a translation of the US site, as long as no other Italian version goes live. But what about development going on in the London office? You're aware of these issues faced by a Global enterprise with foreign language sites, and because this is a second English language site, you initiated a compliance review, so all's well.
Still, you keep nervously checking your ranks. Because you know that when the enterprise websites stop performing in the natural search, the heat is not just on, it's white hot, whether it's a Google penalty or just rank loss...
If you've been paying attention, and your enterprise seo program includes some automated compliance checks, you know you can rule out some issues immediately. And if you're really lucky, your automation quickly shows you what is wrong with the search - whether it's the site, the db, the server, or even Google - the problem is known, addressed, fixed...
Any organization propagating multiple sites puts the natural search rank of all at risk if search compliance is not being addressed with a central strategy, early on. Because you have to work at compliance. Enterprise web implementations are complex animals. Not paying attention to compliance oversight encourages invisible, incremental non-compliance, which eventually becomes large scale anarchy as automation and lack of accountability multiply the problem.
This may seem a radical thing to state, but without search compliance oversight, a large organization with many sites is guaranteed to crash and burn in the search. We see the detritus and help pick up the pieces. And it's from that point on that they understand that enterprise seo means first paying strict attention to search compliance. Then you optimize.
The fact is that no one can really be prepared for the disaster that a large scale search issue can bring to bear. But prevention and preemption is something rarely focused on, even though it becomes the #1 issue after the fact. Search compliance is something that needs to be addressed before the rank loss happens.