Having built literally thousands of links over the course of the last five years I’ve seen and built just about all link types under the sun. Time and time again I come back to unlinked brand mentions as my most successful way of obtaining Penguin-proof links. Sure it’s not really a “secret” since many link builders tout this as a great resource, but I feel it’s far undervalued and shouldn’t be glossed over. I highly recommend to our clients that they spend the time to invest in uncovering brand mentions without links.
At minimum set up an alert for any new indexed pages that mention your brand. I’ve used Google Alerts in the past, although not always 100% reliable. Talkwalker is an alternative free option you can use that other experts also suggest. Your brand mentions will be served up to you via e-mail. Click on the link and see if your brand mention is actually linked to your site. It’s not? Ask for it!
Next use advanced search commands to review any brand mentions you might not know about. These could be anything from a mention by a blogger using your product, news article mentioning your brand, bio of an employee that works for the brand or even a press pickup you knew about but never thought to ask to have a link added. Start the process by thinking about what that page with the brand mention looks like, the keywords on the page, the footprints on the page that you can use to craft your advanced search query.
Think about where your brand might be mentioned and use phrases in your query to find the end page:
- Employees & Leadership Team Bios – Insert team member’s names into queries and “bio” or “about the author” or “about the speaker.”
- Mentions in Blog Posts – Use advanced search commands on google.com/blogsearch to limit to blog only results.
- Syndicated Content – Use the exact title of a recently released infographic or video in your query to see if there was any natural pickup.
- On .EDU, .GOV, .ORG Sites – use command site: as the parameter to uncover specific TLD mentions. Add edu, gov or org to the parameter like this: site:gov to limit to gov results only.
- Quotes on News Publications – Who could be quoted from your organization? Put their name in search queries along with “quoted.”
The key to uncovering unlinked brand mentions is proper usage of advanced search commands. [tweet this] Once you become an expert at crafting the best query, there’s no end to the opportunities you’ll uncover!
This tip, and 19 more, can be downloaded in one PDF.