In our ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, where change is not only necessary but the only constant, the meaning of staying ahead has become synonymous with online success. Today, businesses are at the center of innovation and strategy, balancing between adaptation and anticipation in this complex dance of algorithms, human behavior, and technical improvements. As this digital landscape expands, a new trend is taking its shape in the realm of SEO, i.e., Brand Mentions. It is now being said that brand mentions are now becoming the future of backlinks.

Why so? Well, for that you have to keep reading this guide. The following section highlights the importance of focusing on brand mentions as a tool for SEO, rather than solely relying on traditional backlinks.

Understanding Brand Mentions

Brand mentions serve as a powerful and organic way of amplifying your business’s online presence. These mentions appear on different websites when people talk about or mention your brand, even if there isn’t a clickable link included. Unlike more traditional link-building strategies, brand mentions add an extra layer of authenticity to your digital footprint. This authenticity results in the genuine recognition and acknowledgment your brand receives across the vast landscape of the internet. Take the example of the picture below. Here you can see the brand mentioned as “Quick Sprout.”

Well, the concept of brand mentions was introduced by Google in a patent, almost a decade ago and this patent was named as “Panda Patent.” This patent is a differentiation between express links and implied links.

  1. Express Link: An express link is a hyperlink that is clearly and directly provided to the user, either through text or a clickable element, to navigate from one web page to another. They are easy to identify and typically appear as underlined text with a clear call to action.

    Example of Express Link: Suppose you are reading an article on a website and you notice a sentence: “For more information about this topic, click here.” In this case, the text “click here” is an express link, and when you click on it, you reach another web page with additional information about the topic.

  2. Implied Link: An implied link, on the other hand, is not explicitly provided to the user through a clickable element but is suggested within the content. These links are not readily visible as hyperlinks but can be discovered through actions like hovering over certain text.

    Example of Implied Link: Imagine you’re on a website looking at a smartphone you want to buy. While the product name and image are not clickable, you know that you can click on them to access more details or make a purchase.

With such a large landscape of links and the algorithms of search engines, SEOs have been blindly ignoring the marketing and solely relying on links. Unfortunately, this pattern was in demand till 2014, but not anymore now.

The Shift to Brand Authority

Change is the name of nature, we all know there will come a time when Google will eventually launch its AI-powered tool. With the advent of LLMs (Large Language Models) which work on text data to learn the patterns and entity relationships in the language, text has suddenly become more powerful and important in the modern SEO landscape. This AI shift has made the brand mentions important over traditional backlinks to evaluate online content.

When your brand is mentioned in diverse contexts, it becomes more than a mere identifier; it transforms into a symbol of trust and influence. Search engines interpret these mentions as a collective vote of confidence from the broader digital community, signifying that your brand holds relevance in its niche. Thus, in this new landscape, it’s not just about keywords and backlinks; it’s about the influence and recognition your brand commands.

Diversifying Your Backlink Profile

Diversification is the name of the game, and brand mentions emerge as a key player in creating a robust and resilient backlink profile. While traditional backlinks have long been the backbone of SEO strategies, relying solely on them is not such a good idea. Here, brand mentions play a pivotal role in diversifying your backlink portfolio.

Search engines value diversity, and a mix of traditional links and brand mentions enhances your website’s authority in a more comprehensive manner. It’s not about choosing one over the other; it’s about combining them to make your SEO strategy stronger. This way, your strategy can handle unexpected changes in algorithms or the market better.

In the above example, you can see that website A is dependent on guest posts for its brand awareness whereas, Website B is letting audiences know about its brand through media links or mentions and guest posts/ backlinks. Therefore, Website A will end up with more brand awareness rather than its counterpart as the website A has not employed the combined strategy of traditional links and brand mentions.

The Significance of Brand Awareness

Nowadays, it has become evident that people are running towards search engine listings, which further narrowed down to “pay search engines to be listed.” This is what we businesses have been doing for the last 10 years. While it is not wrong thinking, people or businesses need to understand that letting people know about your brand or existence would lead to more traffic to their websites.

People today, go online and end up in the middle of a Google search. As soon as they click your link and read something they get distracted by their other work and leave. After some days, weeks, or even months they might repeat the process and get stuck in this cycle again. That’s why many businesses have relied on last-click attribution, thinking that paid search is the main way to make money.

However, the challenge is that not many people will know about your service or product if you only focus on paid search as they only reach a limited number of people. On the other hand, organic search is way more powerful and can reach a lot more people without spending more on ads. Plus, you can let the majority of people know about your existence while also getting more links and mentions.

You can even monitor your brand mentions on various platforms, with the social media marketing tools like “Awario”. The below mentioned picture shows the brand mention of “Oatly” in various websites and blogs. This way you can examine the amount of mentions of your brand and analyze how much people are relating to your brand.

Prioritizing Publicity Over Links

Brand mentions have immense power because it comes first before the link. However, the link and brand mention both boost organic search. Well, links sure make lives easier for search users, but it is the publicity that fuels the link. Therefore, with the help of digital PR, you can help your brand grow in online searches. This trend is the need of the hour now. There are many brands that get mentioned in the media. Digital PR is what makes these mentions happen.

So, in the future of online searches, brand mentions will become a huge thing. And that is what you should aim for in your business. Nevertheless, if you are in search of SEO experts who can provide you with some expert guidance on trending algorithms of search engines and other related trends, consider taking our expertise.