How many times have you come across a brand or product being mentioned online? It could be in the news, on a blog, or even on social media. These are all brand mentions.
Obviously, the more a brand is discussed online (positively, of course), the stronger its reputation becomes. Why is this important for SEO? Because Google and other search engines use this reputation as a factor when deciding that brand or product website’s ranking.
The good news is that brand mentions are not just reserved for huge companies like Apple or Samsung (to name just two). Every entrepreneur and SME can take advantage of this to boost their own website’s search rankings. And since all of this takes place outside the realm of your own website, it falls under off-page SEO.
What is the difference between brand mentions and backlinks?
The answer is very simple: brand mentions, by definition, are where your company/product is mentioned without a link leading back to your website. This is why brand mentions are sometimes called ‘implied links’ – they indicate a connection to your website, but don’t include an explicit link – aka ‘express links’.
Why are brand mentions so important?
Google uses third-party resources called Search Quality Raters. These are individuals who will verify and categorise various search engine results. This means they use the number of times a brand is mentioned positively or negatively online to decide how good people think that brand is. The more number of positive brand mentions, the higher their rating for that brand.
Way back in 2014, Google’s Panda Patent1 revealed that the company was giving a lot of importance to ‘linkless citations’ or ‘implied links’ – brand mentions, in other words. Since then, Google algorithms have consistently analysed a brand’s online mentions to influence its page ranking.
How can you find your brand mentions?
Unless someone you know has mentioned your brand in their writing, it’s nearly impossible to find out every single instance of your brand being talked about online. That’s why there are multiple platforms that help you do exactly this.2
Using these resources, you just have to enter your domain name, and the software will find out every single brand mention of yours. From there, you can decide how you want to use it. You can reach out to the site/platform/writer and try to get that converted into a backlink, for example. Or you could offer to write a guest post or article on their platform. You can even offer a reciprocal mention or link in exchange. The possibilities are endless.
The end result will be a boost to your page ranking and increased awareness about your brand.
1. This article by Bill Slawski is widely considered a comprehensive analysis of all the changes and updates this patent outlined. Read this if you want to know more.