Skip to main content

How do unlinked mentions or implied links help SEO?

Browsing Google

For every website that exists in the world search engines are one of the most effective marketing channels out there. While search engine marketing (such as Google or Bing ads) is extremely valuable, it usually works better in tandem with a good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Why is SEO so important? By listing organically through the power of SEO you have the opportunity of getting the same benefits of ads for a reduced cost which lasts a longer period of time than ads do.

Search engine optimization is a very broad topic and a great skill to have for businesses and marketing companies alike, with two main areas being; on-site SEO (what you do on your site) and off-site SEO (what you do off your site). Today we will discuss unlinked mentions and implied links which fall under the area of on-site SEO.

What are unlinked mentions/implied links and how do they help SEO?

Unliked mentions (also called “linkless mentions” or “linkless backlinks”) simply mention another website without the actual link attached to it. In other words, it’s writing Dunham Web (without the link) instead of Dunham Web (with the link). These linkless mentions are counted by both Google and Bing as a powerful ranking symbol, and is considered by many as the “future of link building”.

Generally speaking, Google takes a look at your unlinked brand mentions and the content surrounding those mentions. It is important to get mentions from reputable websites that are relevant to your niche and geographic targeting whether they are linked or unlinked. While it is quite evident that hyperlinks are still better for SEO (and especially for generating traffic), Google has filed a patent for non-linked mentions as “implied links” so they are definitely an important part of their ranking algorithm.

Bing also considers these linkless mentions extremely valuable. At SMX West 2016, Duane Forrester, Bing’s former Senior Product Manager, stated that linkless mentions can be as strong of a signal as regular links and that “Bing figured out how to associate mentions without a link years ago”.

When someone conducts a search on Google and then visits a particular website from the search results, Google creates a connection between that search term and the site visited. The search engine then stores that information and uses it in the context of unlinked mentions around the web in order to help weight rankings of particular sites.

That means if your website’s name is ABC services and someone searches for “ABC services” on Google and then clicks on the listing for your website, Google now makes a connection to your website for that term and every time it indexes a page that has the words “ABC services” it will now honour that connection and rank your website a little bit higher.

Excited? We are too! Just don’t forget to make sure that these links are as unique as possible, because unlike a hyperlink Google will make connections with these based on search queries, which means if it is a common search phrase it will most likely make those connections with other websites as well.


We hope that this look into linkless links and implied mentions has helped you learn something new about SEO. As we continue sharing our knowledge of SEO and digital marketing in future posts, we hope that you come to visit our blog every week to see the latest post we have in store for you. Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Ready to reach more customers online? Tell us about your project and let's get started.

Request a Quote