29 Aug 2012

What Is a Brand-Name-Based Link? (Weekly Q&A)

There’s an interesting question being discussed on SEOchat forums:

So Penguin is after external anchor-text manipulation, so you need to make sure you have more “innocent” (domain- and brand-name-based) links to make your link profile more natural. So instead of linking as bad credit loans, you probably want to link YourCompanyName.com or Your Company Name or Your Site Name

We don’t know the magical number as to which anchor text rate should keep you safe (we can only guess) but Google assumes that people citing you would link to you as Your Site Name than any keyword you want to target.

But what if your company name or your domain is your keyword? What if people link to you using that name? Are you safe?

Exact match domains have always been discussed a lot: simply because they do really (still!) work like a charm for achieving good organic results. Knowing that, people have been doing their best to buy them for their websites. Are they now in danger?

There’s another thread at the forums discussing the similar issue.

If my website was www.joesgarage.com and I had a bunch of links that said, Joe’s Garage, I’m thinking this likely would be considered a brand.

But what if my website was www.AutoRepairSeattle.com? If I have a bunch of anchor texted links that say Auto Repair Seattle, do you think Google will see those as branded links or as an attempt at SERP manipulation?

The truth is, no one knows. We can only assume. And the best answer here is:

I fully believe Google has the technology of knowing brands and contexts of keywords in relation to brand. [But what is it?]

Reading List:


What is Natural Anchor Text?(Case study at Search Engine Journal)

check Anchor Text Distribution: Avoiding Over Optimization (Over at SEOmoz)

There’s no TO-DO list for today’s question as it still remains: How Google distinguishes between a brand-name link and a keyword-based-link? Does it look at the site name? At the domain? At the context? Can they also use official social media account for that? What are your thoughts?


  1. Larry Hotz August 29, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    What if the anchor text contains your keyword and that is IN the title of your WordPress site? My example is “Denver real estate” keyword with this being the WordPress settings: Site Title: All Denver Real Estate Tagline: Real estate news and information about Denver and suburbs WordPress address and site address are both http://www.larryhotz.com
    So, do back-links with the text “All Denver Real Estate” qualify as a brand link?

  2. Kartik Kadia August 30, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    What is brand name base link? & How to benefits? (Weekly Q & A) pls tell me in more information to sharing.

    thank you,

  3. August 31, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    I have especially found the above to be true in South Africa and when it comes to google.co.za.

    I believe every website with EDM should always focus all its content around that EM term though, otherwise you loose the rankings.

  4. Terry Van Horne September 1, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    Well it’s more about entities than “brands” one good clue you are a brand… site links …doh!

  5. Mark Ryder September 12, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    An eye opening article for all the SEO’s after Google Penguin attack

  6. October 23, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    I would say that is almost certainly not a brand link.

  7. jorge perez November 8, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    my domain is a keyword but also the name of the business, I think it is safe, who knows…

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