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?