The Future Of Link Building In SEO
As Googles continues to humanize its search engine, it becomes increasingly important to understand the importance of links and how they impact your site’s rank in 2015. In 1996, Google Co-Founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a PageRank algorithm at Stanford University as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine. PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns numerical weighting to each link in order to assess its importance within a query. As a result, Google’s initial algorithm heavily revolved around incoming links. An incoming link is when any website links to your site. Put differently, the more incoming links a site had, the more important it was perceived by the search engine.
Under the initial system, companies could “game” the system by creating spam content for the sole intention of acquiring links. This is thoroughly discussed in our last blog regarding Negative SEO. Due to this, Google responded by altering its ranking algorithm. The Penguin Update detects and penalizes websites with spam links. So Google now better differentiates between high and low-quality websites. Since the latest version of the Penguin Update came out, digital marketers have speculated that Google will begin shifting towards using brand mentions and implied links to determine page rank. Moving forward, brand mentions could become as relevant as links to a website.
Speculation surrounding the importance of brand mentions stems from a Google Patent filed in March 2014 regarding Google’s Panda algorithm. This patent laid out some telling changes about the future of link building in SEO. The patent describes intent to utilize brand mentions, link-quality, and historical search data to determine authority and relevance.
In the patent, Google acknowledges that every time your brand gets mentioned in a story, that could positively affect your site’s rank. These “implied links” are evidence that Google is examining brand mentions across the web as a measure of authority.
As a result, it seems logical to give a higher rank to a popular brand that is being constantly discussed. As it is more likely to have real engagement and value than a website that can manipulate the linked-based algorithm. Due to this, incorporating brand mentions into your SEO strategy could be critical in the future of your search strategies.
Despite this, traditional links are still important. It appears that a shift is on the horizon within link-building. It is also important to remember that brand mentions are another factor that determines search and rank authority.
At DSM, we provide innovative link building strategies that incorporate brand mentions. To learn how you can help your business with its search discoverability, contact us for a complimentary assessment.