In recent years, search engine optimisation has been filled with speculation and abstract tactics to try and keep up with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. The details behind each algorithm update are never fully expressed to the public, though SEO experts are able to make rather accurate assumptions about the effect of the changes, based on information provided via public details such as those found in patents.
One of the most recent patents filed by Google in March 2014, referred to as the “Panda Patent”, seems to indicate that inbound links are still a critical factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. That said, Google is changing how it views and uses different types of links in its ranking algorithm. Compared to express links (hyperlinks), or the conventional links where you include a link in your content leading the reader to another website or webpage, implied links are becoming increasingly important to a site’s authority.
Importance of Implied Links
Implied links, or brand mentions, are simply mentions or references of a website or brand without providing a hyperlink. These mentions could be included in your webpage content, citing out another company or brand’s expertise in a specific industry or subject. The mention could also be in the form of a comment referring to content from another brand, or in any other form re-directing visitors to another brand without explicitly mentioning the site’s name.
These brand mentions are beginning to play a bigger role in brand authority compared to express links, though the latter will continue to play its vital role in building authority like it has in the past. We can help with your SEO strategy through, among other things, content creation and link building.
Why promote a brand without linking to it
If you were promoting another brand on your website, wouldn’t it be better to link to it using their official name or URL? It is possible that Google feels that the process of linking other brand’s websites, or even your own website, has been overused. It has been abused, and is no longer as organic as other SEO practises. Many brands can easily purchase external links, but it is not so easy with brand mentions.
Considering that Google is a company that is constantly looking to change to provide a better experience, it makes sense that would promote one tactic of link building over the other. But calculating authority is not a straightforward process. Google uses “reference queries”, or the number of instances that visitors use a specific query to end up in a certain location, to establish a site’s popularity (authority) relative to similar results for the same query. So, the better your website is at giving visitors what they are searching for, the more you are an authority, and the better you will rank for appropriate searches.
While Google is suggesting increased value of citations, it does not mention that traditional links will be less valuable. Some important considerations when splitting a link building strategy between implied and express links include:
• A high link-to-mention ratio may be associated with spamming and reduce your authority
• Using viral content, like infographics and other visual pieces is an easy way to provide a natural links-to-mentions ratio that is favourable to Google
• Guest blogs provide a great opportunity to build your mentions, and we can help you create relevant content for your blog.
So, both link building strategies remain an important part of SEO.