Linkless Mentions: SEO Benefits and Your Next Steps

I am someone who loves to build high-authority backlinks.

Most of my time goes into finding websites where I can genuinely create backlinks. In the past few days, I have analyzed hundreds of websites and the way they handle outbound links.

I was able to find loopholes in some of the most popular websites to get a backlink from there(In a Genuine Way). But this post is not related to backlinks, but a completely opposite activity, Linkless Mentions.

Have you ever had a thought about getting SEO benefits from a website without ever getting a link back?

I started to have these thoughts back in 2017 while working on some blogs. With the web evolving at such a fast rate, depending solely on backlink is not what Search Engines would do. And, when there are people who are selling links at the price of candies, do you think Search Engines will give value to them in the future?

For Search Engines, backlinks are one of the most important factors for deciding the rankings of a website. And, I am not against the fact that they would still be an important factor in the coming years. But, Search Engines are working hard to find new ways to tackle the manipulations that people are doing with backlink games.

So, in this article, we will be looking at Linkless Mentions and how they work. You will learn about some important things that might change the way you worked on your SEO campaigns.

What are Linkless Mentions?

When someone mentions your brand name in either of their online content, it is known as Linkless Mention. I added online content because the context of linkless mentions is around search engines. Search Engines are active enough to find mentions of your brands or businesses even when somebody has not linked your website directly.

Most of the search engines are also equipped with algorithms to judge the quality of that mention. Like, if someone has mentioned your brand in a good faith as “XYZ Brand is best for buying Shoes online“. It acts as a vote for your brand and adds value to the image that Google or any other search engine has for your brand.

Now, most of you might be thinking to spam the Internet by writing good about your brand. That most probably would not work as the judgment of a mention takes in a lot of factors. These factors are quite similar to the ones that are used for Backlinks.

Here are some examples of Linkless mentions:

  • A review post about your brand, products or services that you provide
  • A review on websites that allow people in sharing reviews like G2, Gust, etc.
  • In an online textual interview or a video that has supporting transcript with it
  • A press release from other brand mentioning your brand
  • Blog post genuinely mentioning your brand name.
  • Quote from your brand mentioning the brand name or the founders

Now, each of the mention listed above has its own effect on the SEO benefits that you can get. It depends on so many factors as I already shared above. These factors include the reason for mentioning you, content around the mention, authority of website mentioning, and the faith in which it is mentioned.

Why Should You Believe Me?

I know many people will question the authenticity of the claims that I made above. Search Engines never share the exact methods that they use for rankings but they always give clues.

1. Gary Illyes, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst mentioned this thing during the keynote at Brighton SEO. Here are some phrases from the keynote taken from Search Engine Watch:

Interviewer: So for all these one to two updates a day, when webmasters go on and see their rankings go up or down, how many of those changes are actually actionable? Can webmasters actually take something away from that, or is it just under the generic and for the quality of your site?

Gary Illyes: (…) Basically, if you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet – and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding, crap like that. (…)

2. And here is what David, who is an Analyst shared about mentions in an online session. Oleg asked him about the SEO benefits that comments and other external engagements have and he answered

David: (…)So, the answer is yes because it helps create validation, independent of your own website because whatever you say about yourself will always be good. But having that kind of validation in terms of comments, citations and interactions in social media environment absolutely helps.

3. Below is a picture that was taken from the official Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines. You can look for the downloadable PDF file here

Officail Guidelines - Google Webmaster

The thing is clearly stated that for page quality rating external factors should be trusted. These include natural mentions that someone has given in good or bad faith.

4. Not only Google but other search engines including Bing also take notice of linkless mentions. Here is what Duane Forrester, formerly a senior product manager at Bing stated:

Duane Forrester: “Years ago, Bing figured out the context and sentiment of tone, and how to associate mentions without a link. As the volume grows and trustworthiness of this mention is known, you’ll get a bump in rankings as a trial.”

The phrase is taken from Link Assitant’s key takeaways of SMX West 2016

These points are enough to understand the importance of linkless mentions for your brand and business. But, what changes you need to do now to your already running SEO campaigns? Let us know in the section that comes below.

What Next Steps You Need to Take?

So, you have got extra work for the next weekend, tracking brand mentions. While it is not at all possible to find each and every brand mention, there are still some tools to help you out. Not just tracking them but you can also work a bit to get more of them with genuine methods. Below are the things that would decide your next steps:

1. Finding Your Linkless Mentions

The web is a vast space and you can’t just surf each and every website to find your mentions. Thanks to the developers who work day and night to create awesome tools. There are tools like Mention and Awario that can help you in finding mentions on the web.

But if you are tight on budget then Google Alerts would be good to start. If you don’t know about it then Google Alerts is a simple and free alert tool. It notifies you every time someone mentions the thing that you specified it to track. But, it comes with a limitation to track only what comes in the future and not the past mentions.

You simply need to go on the official website and type in the brand name that you want to track. By clicking on the Show Options button, you can find multiple options to tweak the process. Here is the screenshot of the same:

Setting Up Google Alerts

Set it up the way you want to get ready to find out the mentions you get. For finding mentions that are done in the past I use a simple Google search pattern. Below is the picture sharing the same:

Finding Brand Mentions

This goes as “Brand Name” -site:branddomain.com. What we are doing here is that we are searching for the name “The Ranking Machine” and telling google to ignore the website “therankingmachine.com” in search results. For this to work perfectly, your brand names need to be unique. Otherwise, you will be getting so many irrelevant results.

2. Creating Some Mentions, Genuinely

When I say create, don’t just rush and start spamming the internet with your brand name. All the factors that judge your backlinks might be applied to the mentions as well. So, try with the things that actually improve your brand presence. Below are the things that you can give a try:

  • Focus on using your brand name wherever it fits good on the Internet
  • Submit your website on reviewing platforms and encourage your users to leave a review
  • Guest blogging even without adding backlinks could help you. Many of the websites allow guest blogs but they don’t people to link their websites, try them out.
  • Do activities like Giveaways, Competitions and Online Webinars which can bring in a lot of buzz on Social Media.

Apart from the above activities, you should focus on creating quality content. Most of the mentions that websites get are because of their quality content and the value they add to the ecosystem.

3. Keep Working on Backlinks

This article was not at all to make you people hate backlinks. They are still one of the most important factors and they will be. I suggest you focus on both the things and as long as you do things in the right way, you will be valued by Google or any other search engine.

I recently launched an Ebook on Backlinks to help people know about the better side of them. Most of the beginners start with doing all the wrong activities including comment spam, directory overloading and more. This surely hurts the reputation and value of websites in the long run.

Here comes an end to this guide and I hope that this helped you in learning something new. Do share your feedback in the comments, you can also query about things.

Share it with someone who needs to read it, sharing is caring.

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