As Googles continues to humanize its search engine, it’s important to understand links.

To grow your site, you need to know the importance of links and how they impact your site’s rank. A good link profile is a key component of creating successful SEO content.

In 1996, Google Co-Founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a PageRank algorithm at Stanford University as part of a research project about a new kind of search engine.



PageRank is a link analysis algorithm for search engines. It assigns numerical weighting to each link a page has to assess its importance within a query.

The following video depicts how PageRank works:


Because of PageRank, Google’s initial algorithm heavily revolved around inbound links. An inbound link is when any website links to your site. The more incoming links a site had, the more important it was perceived by the search engine.

Under the initial system, companies “gamed” the system by creating spam content to build links. This is thoroughly discussed in our Negative SEO blog.

To combat spam link building, Google responded by altering its ranking algorithm. The new algorithm is the Penguin Update.

The Penguin Update detects and penalizes websites with spam links. So Google now better differentiates between high and low-quality websites.

The Penguin algorithm has digital marketers speculating how Google is changing SERP. They are speculating that Google will use brand mentions and implied links to determine page rank.  Moving forward, brand mentions could become as relevant as links to a website.


Brand Mentions

Speculation surrounding the importance of brand mentions stems from a Google Patent filed in March 2014 regarding Google’s Panda algorithm.  This patent laid out some telling changes about the future of link building in SEO. The change include determining authority and relevance using:

  • Brand mentions
  • Link-quality
  • Historical search data

In the patent, Google acknowledges that every time your brand gets mentioned in a story, that could positively affect your site’s rank. These “implied links” are evidence that Google is examining brand mentions across the web as a measure of authority.

The approach makes sense with Google’s focus on relevancy. It is logical to give a higher rank to a popular brand that is being constantly discussed. As it is more likely to have real engagement and value than a website manipulating the old algorithm.

It’s worth incorporating brand mentions into your SEO strategy. As this could bolster your efforts of your search strategies.

Link-Building Matters

Despite the changes, traditional links are still important. It appears that a shift is on the horizon within link-building. Link-building remains one of the most important website search and rank authority signals.

At Pedestal, we provide innovative link building strategies that incorporate brand mentions. Learn how you can help your business with its search discoverability. Contact us for a complimentary assessment.