Link building is often touted as one of the hardest facets of SEO to manage. Link building takes lots of strategy and analysis and requires marketing skills, effort and the ability to think outside of the box.

One of the ways in which marketers are thinking outside of the box in regards to link building – and one which is often declared as the ‘future of link building’ – is to find and utilise brand mentions that do not contain links.

unlinked-mentions-1 How to Link Build Based on Unlinked Mentions

Google, as well as some third-party tools, allow you to use advanced search commands to find these unlinked brand mentions. You can enter search commands that are up to 100 characters long that will allow you to find just about anything on the internet that you are looking for.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the ways in which you can build links based on unlinked mentions.

Google is Your Friend

As are third-party tools such as Fresh Web Explorer. You can enter your domain name and your brand name and it will trawl the internet for unlinked mentions of your business. Absolutely invaluable.

Understand Your Keywords

It is not enough to simply search using your brand as the lone keyword. You will certainly get some results back with this method, but not many, and it will require you to sift through lots of pages of search results to maybe find one or two if you’re lucky.

Instead, you want to be thinking about other keywords that are likely to be mentioned alongside your brand’s name. Doing this will allow you to narrow your search and make the whole process significantly more efficient and a great deal less frustrating.

The Commoners Are Revolting!!

It is very possible that your brand name uses words in a combination that may pop up in other unrelated sites. For example, if your company is an SEO training business called “Search Team,” then it is very likely that that phrase will crop up in websites that have nothing to do with SEO.

Therefore you may want to enter a parameter that avoids any results that mention things like “rescue” alongside “search team.” This will prevent your search results from becoming clogged up with useless pages and will further streamline you search process.

SERP Overlays

Using a search engine results page (SERP) overlay – such as the MozBar – is crucial to making the most of your site evaluation efforts. Being able to look at a site’s domain authority (DA) rating at a glance means that you don’t need to waste your time with pages that have little or no authority.

Take to the Pitch

Once you have found the sites that are mentioning your brand without linking to you, the next thing to do is convince them to add a link. Although this doesn’t require much effort on their behalf, it’s nonetheless a niggly little task that busy webmasters might think that they could do without. Therefore, will need to summon your powers of charm and persuasion to get that link to your brand.

You want to spend some time on crafting a well thought out, succinct pitch. Don’t waffle on for ages about it or they’ll get bored and move onto more important emails. Also, focus on how the link will benefit their website and their readers, rather than you and yours. Remember that they are more concerned about their own page than they are about your brand.

Avoid Press Releases

Once these are published they are not usually able to be edited, so don’t waste your time. And be on the lookout for websites that never link to external sources. You’ll save a lot of time pitching to lost causes.

Haters Gonna Hate

Not everybody is going to be a fan of your business or your brand. Nobody can please everybody, and this is something that you just have to accept.

Do not push for links on pages that have discussed you negatively. At best, you’ll get a resounding “no”, and at worst you’ll get into a protracted back-and-forth with someone who already doesn’t like you. It is not completely unusual for these conversations to end up on the internet and going viral, which is not going to reflect well on you or your brand.

Alert!! Alert!!

Use Google Alerts to receive email notifications when a new mention crops up. Once you have found a search command that yields good results, set up an alert for it so you don’t miss any other opportunities. Plus it lets Google do a lot of the hard work for you.

Next Steps – Hit the Books

Reading this post will give you an understanding of what you need to do to leverage the power of unlinked brand mentions. However, you are going to want to do your homework and read up on the ways in which you can use advanced search commands. There is too much to learn to put here (hence why people can fill entire books with the stuff) so, if you are serious about SEO, then get researching.


There are some of our top tips for mastering the art of link building based on brand mentions. Do you have any tips that you’d like to add? And let us know if you’ve had success with mention monitoring.

Have fun.