Google May One Day Count Unlinked Citations For Search Rankings

Oct 13, 2016 - 8:27 am 3 by

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This happens all the time for what I write here or at Search Engine Land - I write something, and someone will say "Barry wrote this at SER" or something like that, quote it but not link to it. It is a common thing for a lot of sites who publish stuff on a daily basis. Those links do not count because they are not linked. They are called citations without the hyperlink.

We did a poll about it 2013 and SEOs were mixed on if Google counts unlinked citations. Google said they do not count for rankings but can be used for new page discovery.

But that might all change. Gary Illyes told me in an interview, which I published at Search Engine Land (see, I am linking) - that the Google UX team is looking at ways of measuring this.

The question came up about how webmasters benefit when Google home answers your questions by sourcing your site's name. Danny asked, what does that mention do for the publisher?

Here is part of the transcript:

Danny Sullivan: So the feeling is that you'll get enough brand awareness?

Gary Illyes: Something that you can’t measure easily. We are thinking about how to actually, like, measure that in aggregate. I think that UXers are on it.

So maybe, maybe these unlinked citations will make a difference in the future - maybe?

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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