In the Google SEO Office Hours last Friday (December 17), John Mueller was asked if brand mentions can help with rank. Before we proceed with his answer on this, first, let us discuss what a brand mention is.
A brand mention is also called an implied link, which is not actually a link as there is no hyperlink that links and goes to the website being mentioned. It is just a mention of that particular brand in the content.
For example, me mentioning Nike in this content serves as a brand mention or implied link.
Recommended reading: The Importance of Optimizing For Branded Search
Now that you have a better idea of what it is, let’s proceed with Mueller’s answer.
According to Mueller, Google does not use brand mentions for things like Page Rank or understanding the link graph of a website. A plain mention in the content is sometimes kind of tricky to figure out.
He also did mention, however, that brand mentions can be useful for brand awareness about a site. It can be something that makes people aware of the brand and lead them to check out more about the brand being mentioned.
Now, we have a better idea of how Google sees brand mentions - they are not being used!
We actually tested brand mentions and implied links in the SIA to see if they can help with rank. Read our post to see what the results are from these tests: Do Brand Mentions As Implied Links Affect Rank?
Want to know more about what Mueller has to say about brand mentions? Check out the SEO Office Hours episode here, starting at the 44 minute mark.