In this mornings Google webmaster hangout, John Mueller from Google briefly touched on the concept of web site mentions without links. He said that Google would recognize a mention as a mention but he said it is not the same thing as a link. That was it – which will make a lot of SEOs scratch their heads.
At the 23:27 mark into the video, the question asked was “If a web page mentions your brand but doesn’t actually link to your website would that count as a positive signal?”
The answer given was “So. I mean we would pick that up as a mention on on another website but it’s not a link, it doesn’t pass any PageRank. So it’s kind of not really the same thing as a link.”
Here, listen for yourself, I embedded it and click play, it will start right before this specific question:
We know the Google local panel shows mentions. But we also know Google denied using any sentiment analysis in search. The question around unlinked web mentions is not new, we’ve covered it many times, we even ran a poll on it where SEOs were split on how they thought Google treated them.
What do you all think?
Forum discussion at Google+.