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Utilizing Linkless Mentions for Better Rankings

Linkless mentions, also known as implied links or brand mentions, are instances when someone mentions your brand online (it can be on a blog, on a typical website, or on a social network) without linking to it.

While traditionally, backlinks have been the cornerstone of SEO strategies, linkless mentions are gaining recognition for their role in enhancing search engine rankings.

In this article, we discuss their importance, the forms they can take, and how you can use them to improve rankings.

What are some forms in which linkless mentions can appear?

A linkless mention can be any of these:

  • A blog article mentioning your brand without a link;
  • A news item with just your name mentioned, but not linked to;
  • A social media post in which your brand entity is mentioned.

This is a screenshot of a mention of Slicedbread without a link:

Screenshot of a paragraph from a website.

And this is a link:

Screenshot of a paragraph from a Slicedbread website.

What's the importance of linkless mentions?

According to various studies, linkless mentions can improve rankings, both in general and also for local search results.

Linkless mentions help with brand authority, both for search engines and users.

How do we know Google places importance on brands?

The EMD (Exact Match Domain) update happened in 2012. This algorithm, updated by Google, targeted domain names written mostly with keywords, such as "buy-cheap-quality-red-dresses.com" (sample name, for example, purposes only).

What was its purpose?

"Google’s EMD algorithm update focused on ridding the SERPs of spammy or low-quality exact match domains." - Your Guide to Google's Exact Match Domain Algorithm Update 

So, we can see from this example that Google sees branded domains better than low-quality, just-for-spam domains.

What steps can you take to use linkless mentions for better rankings?

First, you should monitor such mentions. Use tools such as Google Alerts, BuzzSumo, Semrush, Ahrefs

If a recent post is mentioned on a blog, social network, or forum, consider participating in the discussion to further amplify your visibility. But don't add a comment to a 10-year-old topic.

If the mention is within a blog post/article/page, you can consider contacting the website's author or owner to link to your website. Don't insist on a lot of messages.

If you receive a negative mention, consider replying in a positive and professional manner and having a dedicated procedure for handling negative mentions.

As a final step, you should ensure that your product can get mentions, be they with hyperlinks or not. Having a good offer and services, writing on a blog, and providing customer service can all help in getting further mentions.

What's in the future?

As the web progresses, we think brand mentions are going to continue increasing in importance for SEO.

Google will likely put even more emphasis on such mentions.

The use of generative AI, where Google will respond to questions rather than just provide a list of weblinks, could even further increase the importance of brand mentions.

Conclusion

Incorporating linkless mentions into your SEO strategy can be a powerful way to enhance your brand's online presence and improve search engine rankings.

As the digital landscape evolves and search engines like Google continue to refine their algorithms, the importance of linkless mentions is expected to grow.

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