The MarketingProfs theorize that with the rising prominence of voice search, the landscape of SEO is changing. They believe that without links to click on during screenless searches, the importance of linkless mentions will grow as well. Links are still vastly important, however, there is value to earn from linkless mentions.
What Are the Search Engines Saying?
Bing, generally a little more forthright in its algorithms, has admitted outright that linkless mentions affect SEO.
- Bing’s Webmaster Guidelines:
“Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results. The most obvious part it plays is via influence. If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals. These positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.”
- A former Bing Senior Manager also stated:
“Years ago, Bing figured out context and sentiment of tone, and how to associate mentions without a link. As the volume grows and trustworthiness of this mention is known, you’ll get a bump in rankings as a trial.”
Google took a little longer to admit it, but Google’s Gary Illyes did confirm last year that linkless mentions have an impact:
“Basically, if you publish high-quality content that is highly cited on the internet—and I’m not talking about just links, but also mentions on social networks and people talking about your branding…then you are doing great.”
5 Tips for Managing Linkless Mentions
How to earn linkless mentions? Here are 5 tips.
Monitor Brand and Keyword Mentions
Use a comprehensive listening tool to find mentions of your brand or relevant keywords. Pay attention to what is being said and respond accordingly. If your business is getting positive mentions, thank those users and try to build on that relationship so they can further amplify your brand. If it’s negative, also be sure to respond and attempt to resolve any conflict between the brand and user.
Grow Off-Page SEO
There are a number of ways to grow off-page SEO. Here are a couple of ways to do so.
Figure Out the Best Platforms
Using a social listening tool, discover which media users mention your business most on. Create a presence on these platforms and use it to amplify the company’s content, as well as interact with customers.
Guest blogging, either in the form of an employee blogging on behalf of your company on another site, or in the form of a guest blogger writing on your company’s site, can be great for linkless mentions. If an employee guest blogs on another page, they’ll cite your company’s brand name. If someone guest blogs on yours, they’ll be likely to mention your business on social media and other platforms when they’re promoting their guest blog. Either way, it’s a great way to collect linkless mentions.
Other Off-Page SEO Tactics
Think out-of-the-box. YouTube does wonders for SEO, but often isn’t taken advantage of by businesses. Quora may also be an interesting platform to use; respond to relevant questions to expose your business to new audiences.
Reviews are another powerful linkless mention. Whether it be Yelp or Google or another review platform, they can provide a significant boost in a business’s rankings. Encourage satisfied buyers to leave a review. Respond to reviews, good and bad, and use them as a learning experience. If positive, note what works right and do more of it; if negative, note what went wrong and correct it.
The Power of PR
Public relations (PR) is another way to get your brand name mentioned off-page. Finding ways to earn a mention in a local news source, trade publication, or something else, will help improve brand authority.
Clearly, social mentions have an impact. Another way to earn social mentions is through influencer marketing. By arranging some sort of compensation, either in the form of free products or monetarily, influencers can create great content on behalf of your business, and their mention boosts SEO.
Linkless is the Future of SEO Marketing
Links were an important signal for Google and other search engines since their inception, however, their relevance is waning. Links are too easy to earn with smart marketing, so Google is looking to linkless signals to offer higher quality results. Secure the company’s SEO future with good linkless practices.
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