Coming to you from Barcelona this week. I wanted to delve into the relationship between Brand and SEO.
I’ve been toying with this theory for a while. Sometimes we see sites ranking high that have terrible SEO but they have a strong brand. It didn’t hit home though until we were working on a blogger’s site that achieved a featured answer within minutes after publishing a brand new page. That’s when it hit home. The blogger in question has a very strong brand for their category. We did no external linking to the page. None, nada, zero, zilch.
The only linking we did was internal linking. Some may recall the so called “page rank sculpting” debate a few years back. That’s not what this is. When we do internal linking, what we are looking for is ways to help the user find what we think they may be interested in on other relevant pages that may have a similar theme.
I’ve never put that much stock in the idea of “Domain Authority” as Google ranks pages not domains. Gary Ilyes himself earlier this year tweeted that their is no such thing as “Brand Authority”. However if your brand is trusted for your category which may be as obscure as “guild of left handed cobblers” Google will also trust you to understand what your users are looking for. Therefore using internal linking to help users find the most important page for their search will be reflected in a higher ranking for that page.
Focus on your users. If you are helping them find the the thing they are looking for quickly Google will rank you higher. The more Brand search you have helps Google understand you are an authority for your category and Google will be forced to chase you, not the other way around. This protects you from Google updates (providing you’re doing everything else right), helps you grow your business and build loyal Brand fans.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if it’s just to shoot my theory down 🙂
UPDATE: I’ve expanded on this here.