Link Building Secrets: Unleashing Unlinked Mentions


Building links from unlinked mentions is easy.

That may seem like a sacrilegious statement coming from us.

But we’re going to show you how easy it is to find link opportunities— where your brand has been mentioned—but not linked—even if you only have a short amount of time and resources to build links.

Here is what we’ll cover in this article:

  • What is an unlinked brand mention in SEO?
  • How do I find unlinked brand mentions for free?
  • How do I turn unlinked brand mentions into links?

The techniques covered in this article will help you spot and leverage unlinked mentions (for your brand) that you’ve previously overlooked.

Let’s get started.

What Is An Unlinked Brand Mention In SEO?

Let’s start off with some bit of statistics here.

According to a study by Aira, 52% of digital marketers say that link building and brand mentions directly impact organic search rankings.

Brand mentions…awesome!

But a brand mention without a link makes it difficult for the internet user to acknowledge what your site is all about—reducing the possibility of becoming your clients (if at all that’s your goal).

So what’s the use of being mentioned in an article, blog, or product description if it doesn’t lead traffic or Google crawlers your way?

We all know the essence of a backlink…it’s an external link that tells Google your site can be trusted and leads internet users to your site.

As a result, it translates to the transfer of Domain Authority (if it’s a do-follow), trust, and traffic, leading to brand awareness, sales, and more revenue.

But an unlinked brand mention in SEO means a reference to your brand (products and services) on another website that does not include a hyperlink to your website.

For example:

  • Product name
  • Service name
  • Brand name
  • CEO name

These mentions can be beneficial for your website’s SEO because they can increase your brand’s visibility and credibility and enhance your website’s ranking for branded search queries.

…but they’re just mentions. So to get the most out of unlinked brand mentions, you can turn them into backlinks by reaching out to the website owner and requesting that they add a hyperlink to your website.

The good thing here is that, for them to have mentioned you, they’re probably aware of you (and your products) so linking to you won’t be a biggie.

That’s one part done. The other is, how do you actually know that someone somewhere on the web has mentioned you but they have not linked to you?

That’s what we’re looking at in the next section.

How Do I Find Unlinked Brand Mentions For Free?

Did someone mention your brand online? Great! The person is familiar with your brand. But do you know how to find those brand mentions?

You can find those mentions in many places, think of the following:

  • Social media
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Forums
  • Websites
  • Blogs, and
  • News sites

However, not every unlinked brand mention is created equal. In fact, securing links on spammy sites could even be harmful to your SEO.

So you will obviously want to ignore those sites from your outreach efforts (more on this later).

Identifying link building opportunities is the most time-consuming task in the process of reclaiming unlinked mentions, but worth it.

The first thing that you need to do is identify the keywords and phrases that other people might use to refer to your product or brand.

This might be your brand name, the name of your products, or even the names of staff at your company.

That’s important. It will ensure you know what you’re aiming at and just in case the webmaster agrees to link to you, you’ll have a relevant anchor text.

So, now, let’s take a look at how to find these unlinked brand mentions—for free.

#1. Google Search

Just like your audience, you can use Google to find the exact match of your brand or product/service and locate many references about your brand online.

However, you have to customize the search if you want the best results. You can do this by conducting a search of a particular keyword or your brand.

This search will bring up results from all sites that have mentioned it.

Here is how to narrow down in order to get specific results:

“Name of Brand” -press -release

Here is an example.

When you look at the sample results provided above, you’ll see the brand name Legiit in bold appearing in the meta description of the search results.

One of them is from our Legiit Official Facebook Group and the other is from a YouTube video—all have not been linked but we can reach out and ask them to link to us.

If you want to locate recent mentions on the SERPs, choose to include results that are only several weeks/days/months old.

#2. Google Alerts

This is a brand mentions tool that can be used to find brand mentions without backlinks.

You can configure the tool to monitor different types of sites such as news sites, blogs, etc, and notify you in real-time when such mentions pop up.


#3. Unlinked Brand Mentions Finder

This is a free SEO tool that checks Google search results and tracking brand mentions.

It looks at the top 100 Google web search results, crawls each page, extracts all links from each page, and checks each one for a link to the domain in question.

#4. Find Domain Name Misspellings

We all agree human is to error. Sometimes, people might reference your brand or website but inadvertently misspell it—but all these still qualify for unlinked brand mentions.

Using Google alerts or social media and other brand mention monitoring tools can help track such variations or misspellings.

Once you've found these mentions, you can reach out to the site owners and kindly request that they correct the misspelled mention by linking to your site.

But the best place to start from or rather the correct procedure is this:

  • Consider common typing errors or variations people might use.
  • Set up alerts for different variations of your brand name or domain such that whenever a mention with a misspelled version of your brand name or domain appears, note the source and context.

For example, our brand name is Legiit, but more often than not, you’ll find people referring to us as “legit” or “Leggiit”.

#5. Find Stolen Images With Google’s Reverse Image Search

We’ll not entirely fault people for “stealing” images. Sometimes someone can use an image they find online—especially infographics—but forget to give proper attribution or a link back to your site.

So that’s a backlink opportunity for you. To do that, here is the procedure:

  • Go to Google Images (
  • You can either upload the image file or paste the image URL into the search bar.
  • Google will display similar images or instances where the image has been used across the web.

After that, look through the search results to find websites or pages that have used your image without proper attribution or a backlink to your website.

Sounds interesting, right?

So, after finding these unlinked brands mentioned on the website, what do you do with them? That’s what we’ll talk about in the next section.

How Do I Turn Unlinked Brand Mentions Into Links?

Just as we said at the beginning of the previous section, not every mention warrants a backlink, and not every mention is worth a backlink.

For example, if you find someone has written something negative about your brand and mentioned it online, will you still chase the link?

That’s why in your hunt for unlinked brand mention opportunities to turn them into links, you should go for the following:

  • Consider prioritizing the most authoritative ones first.
  • Only obtaining backlinks from websites that have topical relevance or have a minimum Domain Authority of 20.
  • Only contact websites that are maintained regularly and are likely to accommodate the backlink request.

That guarantees you backlinks that are relevant and likely to move the needle (Google).

So, after coming up with a list of sites that you want to reach out to and you have their contacts (preferably emails), you can organize them in a spreadsheet and begin your outreach.

But here is a teaser, not all your outreach is going to be accepted, but that does not mean you won’t get some success. In fact, your success rate will depend on how you reach out to your prospects.

If you want to learn more about how to do proper outreach, be sure to check out this article: Link Building Outreach Email Example: Crafting Compelling Messages for Effective Backlink Acquisition.

But since we’re talking about this topic specifically, let’s summarize some outreach thoughts:

  • Ensure the email is concise and to the point.
  • Customize the email and always address the recipient by their name, if possible.
  • Handle negative press with caution.
  • Since they have already mentioned the brand, they probably won’t mind backlinking to the brand’s website, so don’t be afraid to ask directly.
  • Suggest the most applicable page to link to—that their audience will find value in (this is important).
  • If a webmaster or author is hesitant to backlink to the site, don’t dwell on it – move on to the next potential person to ask.

Here is a template that can guide you through:

Subject: Thanks for mentioning my site in your article

Hi {First Name},

First off, I’d like to thank you for mentioning {brand / product} in your recent article. We appreciate it!

I noticed within the article that you didn’t link through to our website when you mentioned us.

I was wondering, however, if it would be possible to add a link back to our page. It would enable your readers to view the original data and provide us with full credit for our work.

Here’s the link to save you time searching for it: {URL where brand mention is}.

Let me know what you think about the post. Maybe it’s worth mentioning in your article (or in future ones)?



Pro tip: When doing this kind of outreach, always ensure to convince the webmaster or website owner that they can only benefit by adding the link.

Final Thoughts

Now you know—unlinked mentions are gold in SEO—and you need more and more.

However, not all mentions are worth your time, just ensure you find the ones that could add value to your SEO campaign and go chasing them.

At the end of the day, what matters is your outreach—it should move the needle. And what we’ve discussed in this article, puts you ahead of the curve—when hunting for link opportunities using this strategy.

Does it seem to be easy? Let us know.

About the Author


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Hail Thee.

I'm a creative strategist with a marketing twist. Whether you're looking to grow your brand, or need help with your existing website content, I can get the job done.

Providing the most powerful and relevant content marketing strategies to create more visibility on the internet.

Our approach is all about telling your unique story through creative and strategic marketing techniques. We believe in crafting authentic messages that speak directly to your target audience to drive real results.

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