For many years now, links have been the authority in which search engines such as Google rated the authority of a website.

Duane Forrester, formerly Sr. Product Manager at Bing, mentioned that search engines today have got a lot smarter. They have evolved so much that that search engines (and we presume this includes the good people at Google) can easily identify mentions, and use those as a signal in determining a website’s quality and authority.

Gaining backlinks pointed to your website continues to be super important, but in terms of achieving a balanced SEO strategy, you absolutely need to gain linkless brand mentions.