BREAKING: Unlinked Site Mentions Valued by Google!?

Two Steps Ahead of Google in the Past

Last month, in my column titled Vince: The Google Update We Should Be Talking About (on Search Engine Watch), I had mentioned a comment made by my dear, departed friend Ted Ulle about Google’s Vince Update, and – in particular – something that he proposed as a manner in which Google might determine “brand.”

Here’s what he said (mind you, this comment came in 2009):

I also have the sense that there is a change in this direction. In 2008 Eric Schmidt made some comments that brands were more important. My only question is whether the influence is from offline or possible some other factor – such as unlinked brand mentions, or social media buzz.

That’s the beauty of being in the field of SEO. Sometimes you have to get ahead of what’s public knowledge and try to imagine what you would do/think, if you were Google. Turns out, Ted was right in his thinking (which, for those of us who knew Ted, is not really surprising).

Google Now Admits

This week, Ted’s thought was confirmed via John Mueller of Google in a Google Webmaster Tools Hangout.
Here’s the clip (forward to 47 minutes; 37 seconds for the “official response”):

 

 

Since the dawn of SEO “time,” we have preached the importance of building (quality/relevant) links to websites. And while this “official response” merely indicates that Google might use a non-linked mention of a domain/URL in order to crawl it (they can recognize the structure to determine that it’s a URL/Domain, without any hyperlink) and they specifically state that it “doesn’t pass pagerank,” it doesn’t take much imagination to think that Google “could” pass some value through.

Future & Forward Thinking

You could even take this a step further…

If there’s “some value” in non-linked mentions of your domain/URL, could it be that no-follow links could also pass “some value?” Especially in those cases where the linking website is “quality” and highly trafficked/thought of? Specifically, would a link on Wikipedia be a good thing?
There was a time when no-follow links were quickly discounted. SEOs and client alike might not put any value on links achieved that had the no-follow attribute.

But, if you step out of the “proper SEO” thinking and think bigger picture (what you might do if you were Google), you would think that a brand mention, or mention of a specific domain/URL, would be something that you would want to associate to “some value”…wouldn’t you? In fact, a “natural link profile” absolutely should have a health mix of “followed” links, “no-follow” links, image links, brand anchor text links (*note: some say that your backlink profile should have as many as 80% of your links utilizing “brand” attributes in the anchor text, rather than “stuffing” keywords in your backlink anchor texts in an effort to game Google’s algorithm), video links, social mentions, mentions in the press, mentions in related trade publications, etc.. All of these things amount to “good marketing,” which is why there’s all the buzz surrounding “content marketing,” as if this is a replacement for “SEO.”

SEO has evolved a lot since the (can’t call them “good”) old days. Back in 2000, you might be best served by stuffing as many keywords on a page and gaining links (so long as they were “followed”) from any/all source(s).

Content marketing, brand building, PR, social promotion, good code, quality user experience/usability and – yes – link building all go into a holistic SEO effort, nowadays. Today’s SEOs have had to evolve right along with Google’s algorithm. You simply can’t pigeon-hold yourself into one “specialization.”

Today’s SEO is about good marketing.

So, when your Search Engine Optimization Company (hopefully Vizion Interactive) tells you that you should be writing interesting content on your blog, and engaging influencers in your Industry to aid in promoting that content, and you push back because you have a difficult time understanding the direct correlation to “ROI,” understand that this is just one possible way to build citations (and “brand”), even if there are no associated “links.”

BREAKING: Unlinked Site Mentions Valued by Google!?” Comments

  1. Finally, a confirmation of sort of why a competitor of a client seems to have an ‘upper-hand’ on the SERPs, hmmm #SeemsLegit

  2. its called citations and yes google counts it 🙂

  3. […] For as long as I can recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. PR “back in the day” may have strictly referred to “submit press releases to gain links,” but that has certainly not been the case for quite some time. PR is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great reading out there about how to synergize efforts. One such case study that was developed was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One very common practice for us is to set up alerts for our clients using HARO, to identify opportunities to contribute to pieces that are being published (folks seeking an expert opinion/contribution to an article that is being written). This is great for the agencies who have clients who are unwilling (unable) to commit the time necessary to write compelling “thought leadership pieces,” but may have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Often, these contributions will result in a link back to your site. Even without a link, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some value through (as was hinted at last year, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

  4. […] For as long as I could recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. Public Relations “in the past” could have purely described “send news release to obtain web links,” yet that has actually absolutely not held true for fairly some time. Public Relations is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great result out there regarding how you can synergize initiatives. One such case history that was developed was this item by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One typical practice for us is to establish informs for our customers making use of HARO, to identify chances to add to items that are being released (folks looking for an expert opinion/contribution to a write-up that is being written). This is excellent for the agencies which have customers who are unwilling (incapable) to commit the moment required to create convincing “thought management pieces,” but may have time to contribute a couple of paragraphs. Often, these contributions will certainly cause a web link back to your website. Also without a hyperlink, I have believe that Google is wise enough to pass some worth via (as was meant in 2013, in Google’s John Mueller’s Web designer Central hangout). […]

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  6. […] For as long as I could recollect, we have actually recognized the resemblances in Public Relations and also SEO. PR “in the past” might have strictly described “send press releases to get web links,” but that has actually absolutely not been the case for very time. Public Relations is a method of enhancing your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promo.” There’s a great deal of wonderful reading out there regarding how to synergize efforts. One such study that was produced was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One typical method for us is to establish alerts for our customers utilizing HARO, to determine chances to contribute to items that are being published (people looking for an expert opinion/contribution to a short article that is being written). This is wonderful for the agencies which have clients that are unwilling (not able) to commit the moment necessary to compose engaging “believed leadership pieces,” but might have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Frequently, these contributions will certainly cause a hyperlink back to your website. Especially without a hyperlink, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some worth with (as was meant in 2013, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

  7. […] For as long as I can recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. PR “back in the day” may have strictly referred to “submit press releases to gain links,” but that has certainly not been the case for quite some time. PR is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great reading out there about how to synergize efforts. One such case study that was developed was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One very common practice for us is to set up alerts for our clients using HARO, to identify opportunities to contribute to pieces that are being published (folks seeking an expert opinion/contribution to an article that is being written). This is great for the agencies who have clients who are unwilling (unable) to commit the time necessary to write compelling “thought leadership pieces,” but may have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Often, these contributions will result in a link back to your site. Even without a link, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some value through (as was hinted at last year, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

  8. […] For as long as I can recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. PR “back in the day” may have strictly referred to “submit press releases to gain links,” but that has certainly not been the case for quite some time. PR is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great reading out there about how to synergize efforts. One such case study that was developed was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One very common practice for us is to set up alerts for our clients using HARO, to identify opportunities to contribute to pieces that are being published (folks seeking an expert opinion/contribution to an article that is being written). This is great for the agencies who have clients who are unwilling (unable) to commit the time necessary to write compelling “thought leadership pieces,” but may have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Often, these contributions will result in a link back to your site. Even without a link, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some value through (as was hinted at last year, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

  9. […] For as long as I can recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. PR “back in the day” may have strictly referred to “submit press releases to gain links,” but that has certainly not been the case for quite some time. PR is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great reading out there about how to synergize efforts. One such case study that was developed was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One very common practice for us is to set up alerts for our clients using HARO, to identify opportunities to contribute to pieces that are being published (folks seeking an expert opinion/contribution to an article that is being written). This is great for the agencies who have clients who are unwilling (unable) to commit the time necessary to write compelling “thought leadership pieces,” but may have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Often, these contributions will result in a link back to your site. Even without a link, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some value through (as was hinted at last year, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

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  11. […] For as long as I can recall, we have recognized the similarities in PR and SEO. PR “back in the day” may have strictly referred to “submit press releases to gain links,” but that has certainly not been the case for quite some time. PR is a way of amplifying your message. It’s outreach to journalists/influencers. It’s “promotion.” There’s a lot of great reading out there about how to synergize efforts. One such case study that was developed was this piece by Robin Swire on Moz.com. One very common practice for us is to set up alerts for our clients using HARO, to identify opportunities to contribute to pieces that are being published (folks seeking an expert opinion/contribution to an article that is being written). This is great for the agencies who have clients who are unwilling (unable) to commit the time necessary to write compelling “thought leadership pieces,” but may have time to contribute a few paragraphs. Often, these contributions will result in a link back to your site. Even without a link, I have think that Google is smart enough to pass some value through (as was hinted at last year, in Google’s John Mueller’s Webmaster Central hangout). […]

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