I was reading Sphinn awhile back when I came across a discussion about whether or not unlinked brand mentions help in organic SEO. The discussion didn’t really go anywhere so I started to think about, and research the topic, as well as the affect (or lack of affect) no follow links have in SEO.
Unlinked Brand Names
In the SEO industry it is common knowledge that part of the infamous search engine algorithms’ is the number of inbound links a site has (the amount of links that are directed to specific site, also known as back links). With the question being “do unlinked brand mentions help general organic SEO?” it goes beyond what is known about the search engines’ algorithm, and therefore becomes difficult to answer.
Immediately it appears the answer is no, because there is no actual link to the site, only a reference, and last I heard references only play a role in local SEO not organic. Without knowing the algorithm it is impossible to say for sure if they do or do not help SEO, but with past experiences, I would have to side with the reasoning that they do not assist in general SEO.
That is not to say that brand mentions are completely worthless when building links for general SEO. It doesn’t hurt to throw in an unlinked brand mention in your link building efforts as they help produce a more natural and less spam like appeal and will provide potential visitors with awareness.
No Follow Links
I have found that no follow links are another debated topic, with some stating that they are completely useless and others stating that they are not useless. I feel they are indirectly useful, and should not be completely avoided.
The fact that search engine crawlers do not index the link (which means no link juice or page rank is passed on to the targeted site) certainly makes it appear that they do not have any use in SEO. But take a second and really think about it, is having only do follow links natural? Nope. To help fool Google into thinking your links are in fact organic you need no follow links to provide some balance.
I am not saying go out and spend your entire budget on no follow links, but if you get the odd one who cares, a link is a link. No links are completely useless for SEO as even a no follow link can add too visitors’ awareness, clicks, views, and conversions and even lead to a do follow link somewhere down the road.
I know that many of you reading this have a view on the topic, so please leave a comment.