Are Backlinks Becoming Linkless?
Anyone who runs a website or is involved in SEO will know that backlinks are important. Although Google and other search engines have really tightened up on the effectiveness of backlinks in recent times to ensure only quality backlinks are used as ranking factors, backlinks still play a very pivotal role in helping pages and websites in general rank well in search results.
These days Google doesn’t like what are obvious paid backlinks, or links that originate from low quality websites. The search engine giant is also starting to clamp down on reciprocal links, when two website owners collude to give each other a link back to their respective sites.
In 2018 there is already a lot of talk about “linkless” backlinks and how the SERPs are placing a greater emphasis on this kind of “link” going forward.
What Is a Linkless Backlink Exactly?
Basically a linkless backlink is a mention of your business or brand on another website. Instead of there being an actual link back to your website, the mere mention of your company or brand name is enough to get the attention of search engines.
Of course, a linkless style of backlink like this is more general and doesn’t target a specific piece of content, but when your business or brand gets mentioned numerous times on other sites, the search engines will sit up and take notice.
This is actually a good thing. After all, why does there need to be a physical link back to a site for a brand or business to be recognised as a valuable source? Regular mentions of Brand X should be enough of an indicator that many people are talking about Brand X.
Of course, this can also work against a brand if it’s less than reputable, as Google also takes into account the context in which the brand is mentioned. So if there are a lot of complaints out there about Brand X, then this brand name is not going to work as a linkless backlink.
Linkless mentions and linkless backlinks when positive in tone are a good indicator to Google, Bing and Yahoo that the brand/business/product is trustworthy and deserves recognition, delivered in the form of higher search engine rankings.
Linkless backlinks can occur in:
- Web pages
- News stories
- Social media posts
- Video transcripts
- Podcast transcripts
- And so on…
How Does This Affect Your Backlinking Strategy Moving Forward?
Really your linking strategy pretty much remains the same. If you are doing everything white hat and above board to avoid Google penalties, then linkless mentions along with regular traditional backlinks will be the natural result.
Developing genuine relationships with influencers in your field is always going to be a positive course of action for many reasons, along with linked and linkless mentions of your company or brand.
The best kind of linkless backlink is the same as its linked counterpart – The more natural the mention, the better it is for SEO.
Moving forward, don’t think every mention of your brand has to be linked in order for it to gain SEO juice.