Future of SEO & Link Building:
Brand Mentions

Google has made it clear, being mentioned by others is the only way to do SEO properly

-- January 20, 2016

Much has changed over the last decade in digital marketing. There has been a dramatic shift in link building, particularly Google's increased efforts to punish individuals that participate in spammy link-building practices that began in 2011.

Perhaps the most important news: Google has made it very clear: They are looking at brand mentions as a strong measure of authority. Brand mentions and PR are the future of SEO. Read more about the referenced Panda Patent here. As outlined in the patent, Google may rank sites, using a ratio of links and mentions, or "implied links".

Therefore, the only sustainable form of what was always referred to as "link building", which may be referred to as a "mention" in the future (where there is no actual hyperlink), is to garner and earn real media attention, get your brand mentioned in well-known digital magazines and when possible, land full news coverage about you or your business.

That's exactly what Placemints does for brands. It brings together engaging content ideas, brands and journalists. It gets brands mentioned and continues getting them mentioned. The magic in getting mentioned is in the ideas Placemints generates for each individual brand and the deep trusted relationships we've forged.

What's this mean for smaller brands that aren't exactly newsworthy and can't spend thousands to garner media exposure?

Unfortunately, legitimate link building will continue to be a major pain point of small businesses generating less than $250,000 per year in revenues (and there's a heck of a lot of those).

According to Intuit, the average revenue (not profit) of small businesses with no employees is $44,000 per year. Two thirds make less than $25,000 per year. It is highly unlikely that a business making less than $50,000 per year can afford a marketing expense that exceeds $1,500 per month in order to achieve enough brand mentions and news coverage to make a dent in their SEO efforts. This will likely result in the continued use of spammy methods by much smaller businesses.

Good news for brands that have a healthy marketing budget!

Sam Penson said it best (and we agree): It's not easy anymore, but nothing worth having is. Content marketing and brand mentions demand a larger budget for the best results. The good news is that there's finally a streamlined method of SEO for your company that's fair game and has been confirmed by Google in black and white: Being genuinely mentioned and linked to (although perhaps not always hyperlinked) on the internet is the future of SEO.

Most Important part of the Panda Patent

The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302). A link for a group of resources is an incoming link to a resource in the group, i.e., a link having a resource in the group as its target. Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both. An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source resource that a user can follow to navigate to a target resource. An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.