If you are a leading Digital Marketing agency, you must be well aware of the importance of Brand Mentions. This is highly in trend and is extremely beneficial for the websites. How important are brand mentions? When this was asked to Google’s John Mueller, he explained about “brand mentions” and also how it helped with SEO and rankings. John Mueller explained, in detail, how brand mentions are not something that is used at Google.
What are Brand Mentions
To simply define what are Brand mentions – These are references to a website of any company, brand, or any other service. The Brand mentions are often found in the product or service reviews, blog posts, educational content, and news articles. Brand mentions are very helpful for SEO and can directly put a positive impact on the online reputation of a brand or product.
When one website mentions another website, it is known as brand mentions. There is this concept in the SEO community that whenever a website mentions another website’s domain name or URL then Google sees this and count it the one link only. Brand Mentions are also commonly known as implied links. A lot was written about this ten years ago after a Google patent that mentions “implied links” emerged.
There has never been a solid review of why the idea of “brand mentions” has nothing to do with this patent, but I’ll provide a shortened version later in this article.
Does Brand Mention Impact Rankings?
It is very important to know whether the brand mentions impacting the rankings or not. If you want o know about the brand mentions for the purpose of ranking, you are asking a very good question and for a good reason too. It is good that you are asking this because the idea of “brand mentions” has never been definitively reviewed and these questions are not answered in the past. Answering this question Mueller said – “From my point of view, I don’t think we use those at all for things like PageRank or understanding the link graph of a website. And just a plain mention is sometimes kind of tricky to figure out anyway.”
That part about it being tricky is interesting.
As you have noticed above, John did not elaborate on why it’s tricky until later in the video when he says it’s hard to understand the subjective context of a website mentioning another website.
Brand Mentions Are Useful for Building Awareness
It is very important to understand the fact that brand mentions are useful when it comes to building awareness for your brand. Mueller has also elaborated that brand mentions can turn out to be useful for helping in getting the word out about any website. This helps in increasing the popularity of the website and at the same time also increases awareness.
Mueller continued – “But it can be something that makes people aware of your brand, and from that point of view, could be something where indirectly you might have some kind of an effect from that in that they search for your brand and then …obviously, if they’re searching for your brand then hopefully, they find you right away and then they can go to your website.
And if they like what they see there, then again, they can go off and recommend that to other people as well.”
Apart from all the advantages the brand mentions provide; are these problems too? Having a huge discussion about all this later on at the 58-minute mark some other person brings the topic back up and bring up the question that how Google handles spam websites and mentions the brand in a negative way and what is it doing for it.
The person then added that it is easy to disavow links, but one cannot disavow a “brand mention.” To this Mueller agreed and said that – it is one of the things that makes brand mentions difficult to use for ranking purposes.
To make it clearer, John Mueller explained:
“Kind of understanding the almost the subjective context of the mention is really hard.
Is it liking a positive mention or a negative mention?
Is it a sarcastic positive mention or a sarcastic negative mention? How can you even tell?
And all of that, together with the fact that there are lots of spammy sites out there and sometimes they just spin content, sometimes they’re malicious with regards to the content that they create…
All of that, I think, makes it hard to say we can just use that as the same as a link.
…It’s just, I think, too confusing to use as a clear signal.”
What Is a Reference Query?
Reference query can be defined as a search query that contains a reference to the URL or a domain name. The patent States – “A reference query for a particular group of resources can be a previously submitted search query that has been categorized as referring to a resource in the particular group of resources.”
The patent has provided a more specific explanation here. Have a look:
“A query can be classified as referring to a particular resource if the query includes a term that is recognized by the system as referring to the particular resource.
…search queries including the term “example.com” can be classified as referring to that home page.”
The summary of the patent that you will get at the starting of the document says that it is all about establishing and finding out which links to a website are independent and also counting reference queries. With the help of information collected, it creates a “modification factor” that is responsible for getting the web pages ranked.
“…determining, for each of the plurality of groups of resources, a respective count of reference queries; determining, for each of the plurality of groups of resources, a respective group-specific modification factor, wherein the group-specific modification factor for each group is based on the count of independent links and the count of reference queries for the group;”