What’s The Value of an Unlinked Mention for SEO?

Have you ever wondered what exactly unlinked mentions can do for the presence of your digital brand online? And what do they mean for SEO? Let’s get into it.

Mentions Are Social Proof

unlinked mentions

On Twitter, there was a little back and forth between SEOs and a UK Times Journalist. SEOs constantly emailing her asking her for links when they had been mentioned and quoted annoyed her.

While a constant flood of emails is annoying, for SEOs, a link from the Times is a big deal. The UK Times is a national authority which gets large organic rankings. This can be a huge boost for SEOs.

Unlinked mentions, however, can give you a boost too.

Who Is Right?

According to the journalist, she has already done anyone quoted or mentioned a massive favor. This is not wrong. However, she also might not have been taking into consideration the sheer boost a linked mention can give.

She does not receive all of those emails for no reason at all, after all.

Some also might argue that if she is using a quote or other content from some other site, why not link them?

SEE ALSO: How to Create a Social Content Strategy for Your Brand

Social Proof Matters

However, she is not wrong about the power of unlinked mentions alone. Mentions from a national publication lend a business a lot of credibility and authority. This is something Google takes into account when ranking sites.

Regardless of algorithms, mentions from national publications and well-known expert sources makes it easier to build trust with customers, clients, and business partners.

It’s a win if you can honestly say on your website, email signature, or other places that you or your business have been recognized by BusinessWeek, the New York Times, or some other authority in your field. It will make people have more confidence in you and what you offer, with or without links.

Even More Content Opportunities

Outside of social proof and the direct link itself, think even bigger. Think about even more content you can build around the strategies you use to help you build up those mentions and links.

If you are mentioned in print magazines, journals, or publications that you cannot link to directly, don’t worry. You can still benefit from those mentions. Here are some of the ways you can derive value from them, whether linked or not.

  • Display the mentions on your site’s homepage
  • Putting them around any of your other sites as social proof
  • Including them in other content, even including presentations, which can earn you list.
  • Use them to get access to other platforms or in pitches to different speaking engagements and podcasts.

SEE ALSO: Using Content Roundups to Build Your Digital Brand

Going Viral

It is hard to manufacture content that goes truly viral, but you can help your content get views by creating content that is truly relevant, high quality, and offers value. You never know who on the internet will see what from you and what doors that might open.

Viral and even just popular posts sprinkled with that extra social factor can lead to all sorts of opportunities.

Again, at the same time, creating misleading content or content that reflects poorly on your brand in the hopes of going viral successfully, might do your brand more harm than good in the long run.

Take a look at this viral content marketing cheat sheet for inspiration.

Don’t Forget About Relationships

It’s not about sending someone a thousand emails asking for attention, mentions, or anything like that. While you can do that, and sometimes it will work, it is not sustainable and rarely builds the kind of long-term results that can bolster a business for years.

You want to build relationships with those in your field and in relevant fields. This is so you all can support each other when necessary in a long-term manner. This is what truly creates success, rather than solely focusing on backlinks or unlinked mentions.

People rarely want to do other people free favors in the world of business. Think about it. What if someone was obviously trying to social climb in real life or in the digital world? Would you be inspired to let them have their way?

Or would you just be annoyed?

The SEOs’ Big Mistake

To bring things back to the argument between the SEOs and the New York Times journalist, it is not about taking sides. It is not about who is wrong and who is right when it comes to unlinked mentions.

Regardless, it is very likely that all of the SEOs who responded negatively to the journalist on Twitter, and got blocked by her, will never be mentioned by her in the Times again.

They have burned that bridge and ended that relationship, maybe before it could even start. If you want to grow your business, you have to build your network, both online and in real life. This is what will get you those links. At the heart of it all is actual relationships.


Google Registers Entities

On the SEO side of things, let’s talk entities. Google knows about entities and registers certain online presences as entities and will associate different keywords with them.

This is actually so effective and Google can do this to an extent that it will associate your brand, business, or name with the topic in any piece of content you are mentioned. It will happen if your brand is already associated with that topic enough. Google will do this whether you are directly linked or not.

That’s right, Google registers unlinked mentions.

This is why SEOs need to go deeper than just getting as many backlinks as possible. Unlinked mentions in places with authority in your niche will do way more for you as time goes on than a bunch of random backlinks for the sake of backlinks.

SEE ALSO: Using Media Relationships to Build Your Digital Brand

Unlinked Mentions Are Ultimately Valuable When It Comes To SEO

While links are an important part of SEO, and they definitely matter, not having direct links is far from the end of the world. Google’s algorithm and technology take numerous things into account when ranking sites. This is including their authority.

Even if they are not directly linked, unlinked mentions from high ranking sites with a wide reach can help lend you that authority. There are also numerous non-SEO benefits to mentions which should be part of a complete business strategy. These include building your:

  • Credibility
  • Web presence
  • Brand identity
  • Audience
  • Relationships with others in your niche

If you have to antagonize someone to try and get a link, you will likely not get the link. It may also be your last unlinked mention. You will likely burn a bridge with them too. And getting that link is probably not worth burning that bridge.

It all comes down to common sense.

Do you think that journalist or the SEOs were right? Comment below…