In March of this year, Google announced that it received a patent for a new algorithm called Panda. This new step for Google also brought with it major news for the PR industry.
The Panda algorithm introduced a new piece to the SEO puzzle called Implied Links. Simply put, an implied link is any relevant mention of a brand or product that does not include a physical hyperlink to a form of that brand or product's web presence. Put even more simply, Google is validating that earned mentions PR works to get carry weight, and that they are valuable in boosting that brands search engine rank.
Implied links will be able to take form in many realms --mentions in discussion boards, media pick ups, or blog posts just to name a few. Google of course has many hard line standards that explain what makes an implied link legitimate and relevant.
Now that Google is validating earned media as carry legitimate weight in how SEO ranks are calculated, PR professionals are at a huge advantage in terms of measurement. Adding numbers to PR work can be difficult at times, especially when placing a dollar value on certain PR tactics. Now, implied links will allow a new medium which can be measured and show the true value of PR campaigns.
Using Google Analytic is a great way to track and measure what implied links are doing for your brand. Track how much traffic your client is receiving from organic Google searches. Record if spikes in those numbers correlate with an increase of earned media mentions. We have always known that PR has true monetary value, and now we have even greater numbers to back it up.
To read more on the Panda Algorithm and Implied Links, check out this article by PR Daily and this one by Shift Communications.
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