Google Patent Confirms: Implied Links Are Critical Piece of Your Company’s SEO
If you’re like us, you get up every morning, brew your favorite free-trade, eco-friendly, ethically sourced fancy-schmancy coffee and then sit down with your favorite gadget and catch up on all the latest news on the U.S. Patent Trademark Office website. Wait! Whaaa?!? Yeah, right. No way would you catch us reading that boring (but necessary) verbiage – unless, of course, it has to do with some pretty awesome Google patents that have everything to do with SEO technology.
Reading Google’s Patent for Panda et al Can Be a True Learning Experience
For the most part, we non-inventors avoid reading patent information because it’s mostly boring technical jargon (read: we can’t really understand it) that goes on and on. But, every once in a while, perusing the patent website can yield some pretty interesting information. Such is the case when reading U.S. Patent 8,682,892 B1, which is all about Google’s Panda.
You remember Panda? That soft cuddly-looking black-and-white bear of an animal with sharp teeth (also, coincidentally the last name of the Google software engineer who developed the algorithm?) Anyway, we met Google’s Panda back in 2011 and it was the revolutionary SEO tool that made valuable inbound links matter more than others because Google was set on making high-quality sites rank above lower-quality counterparts. The more inbound links you have from high-quality sites, the better your company’s website looks to others.
Now that Patent 8,682,892 B1 is official, we are able to read a few more of the details regarding what makes Panda so exciting. It turns out that citations (aka: implied links) regarding your website company name, products and services, etc., – even without a bona fide hyperlink – are super important to your company’s SEO.
Implied Links are an Important Part of Your Company’s Online Presence
Yes, inbound hyperlinks that connect a reader to one of your pages from someone else’s are still very important, but this passage from the patent tells us that your company’s name, products or services are qualified by search crawlers are considered an “implied link” when they show up elsewhere on line, and Google is tallying up those points as well:
The system determines a count of independent links for the group (step 302). A link for a group of resources is an incoming link to a resource in the group, i.e., a link having a resource in the group as its target. Links for the group can include express links, implied links, or both. An express link, e.g., a hyperlink, is a link that is included in a source resource that a user can follow to navigate to a target resource. An implied link is a reference to a target resource, e.g., a citation to the target resource, which is included in a source resource but is not an express link to the target resource. Thus, a resource in the group can be the target of an implied link without a user being able to navigate to the resource by following the implied link.
Wow! That’s heady stuff. So when one of your clients or customers writes about your product or mentions your company name on his or her blog, it counts as an implied link by Google. And, of course, similar to current inbound linking strategies, the more “authoritative” that resource is, the better it looks for your company.
One of the great things about this finding is that inbound links are important, but not everything. If your PR department is doing its job, and your company, its brand, products, services, etc., are getting positive mentions out there on the world wide web, then you are getting credit from Google and you should continually see an increase in organic traffic to your site.
Our advice to make the best use of this knowledge: continue to develop high-quality content and keep your pages extremely focused and on target. The more relevant your information is, the more likely it is to be mentioned, and the more apt you are to benefit, even if there aren’t direct links to your site. Go, you!