Most of us have always known that an inextricable link existed between PR and SEO. Earning brand mentions and links from various websites—whether via guest blogging, earned media, etc.—has long been considered to be good for increasing your search engine presence. However, it wasn’t until very recently that we got actual confirmation and behind the scenes insight into how important PR truly is in SEO.
Word came out recently that Google filed a patent giving greater insight into the role brand mentions, links, and implied links play in measuring a site’s authority. The part that is particularly noteworthy for those of us in PR is as follows:
“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.”
So, what exactly does that mean in plain English? Simply put, any time your brand earns a mention in a story, even if it’s not linked back to your website, Google sees it as an “implied link” that affects your site’s authority and ranking. This directly demonstrates the value of PR in SEO. PR is about generating coverage for your brand, earning mentions and citations on trusted websites. Even if you don’t get an actual link for your hard work, the mention still sends a signal to Google that your brand (and website) carry authority, generate interest, and deserve to rank accordingly.
Now is the time to start focusing your PR efforts on starting more online conversations around your brand. You can bet that this is only the beginning and the importance of earned media will only continue to increase.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/offer/bigbook.html