SEO experts know that links matter. Links on your website are a major factor in the way Google decides how to rank a website, with both external and internal link acquisition and optimisation. However, with SEO constantly changing, new reports show that links may no longer mean as much as they once did.
Links have long been used by SEO specialists to determine a site’s authority, however, with certain manipulative tactics being used and abused, Google appears to be reacting. In a previous update, Google penalised a huge number of websites, seeing them drop down the rankings, taking a lot of time to recover.
That said, links are no longer a total, defining factor in rankings as they once were. With so many developments in SEO, the idea of unlinked brand mentions (or linkless link building) having a larger effect on SERPs makes for an interesting discussion. Let’s find out more.
Linkless link building basically means mentioning your brand or website, without a link back to your website. Good links require high-quality content which is intertwined with classic link building to really affect positioning in the rankings. Links build trust and authority, and if your content is being cited across the internet, you are building a strong business image for yourself. Link building is not restricted to your on-page content. If people link your business in social media and forums through linkless mentions, search engines will begin to recognise the mention of your business as a trustworthy source, which in turn could benefit your positioning in the rankings.
Backlinks are still important and should still be used as part of your main SEO strategy. Google considers standard backlinks a direct means by which people can access your website. Linkless link building focuses itself on the idea of “implied links”. You should not always have links on directory sites, but having your website listed somewhere with high authority is still something you can aim for in SEO. These implied links or brand mentions used in SEO link building can be used in a variety of ways rather than just citations in directories. Just remember, they should not be considered a replacement for traditional backlinking practices.
Let’s be clear, it’s not something relevant for every business, as you need to grow brand mentions, and if you have a new business that doesn’t have a huge amount of options in this respect, then it could be difficult.
However, social media channels, content, and digital PR are three linkless link building techniques that offer the best chances for unlinking brand mentions to have an optimum impact on your business rankings in search engines. It is all about creating an image brand of what you want to convey across the web. Creating a buzz so that more and more places are mentioning your business and keywords will assist in Google’s algorithms, noticing that configuration is trustworthy, and will lead to better rankings.
There are many different ways in which you can track unlinked brand mentions. You can use free link building tools such as Google Alerts and Talkwalker which will send you an email every time they notice a mention online. However, there are more advanced tools where you can monitor unlinked brand mentions. For Instance, the Moz Fresh Web Explorer keeps a track of all the latest and best quality mentions of a brand name, whereas the Awario crawls the internet for mentions, and focuses more on social media brand mentions so you can track your progress. So, find a platform you like and learn how to use it effectively.
Links still matter, and the amount of buzz around your brand is no less important. You want people to be talking about your brand or business, and saying good things. Having a great linkless link building strategy will help your website rank better in search results, boost visibility and help your business grow.
Do you need some assistance with your SEO strategy, social media or PPC campaigns? If so, get in touch with us for a consultation and find out how we can help grow your online presence through our digital marketing experience and knowledge.