Linkbuilding For 2015: Express Links vs Implied Links 101

It's been recently discovered that Google has submitted a patent that
should change the way linkbuilding is done in a drastic manner.  We've
all been aware of the linkbuilding penalties that Google has been
handing out for the abuse and misuse of links, so it's no surprise to
see them taking action.  In fact, this has been coming for a while, it's
just unclear how many people truly expected this kind of superb fix:
implied links.

Under our current understanding of linkbuilding, 'express links' are the
only types of links that are beneficial to a site's ranking.  An express
link is your standard link that leads back to the webpage by embedding
(or just plain pasting) the URL on a page.  For example, is an express link.  These are the links that are
being used in negative SEO and link building schemes, as well as by
honest internet marketers like you and me.

Enter the Implied Link

But now, Google is poised to swing the emphasis from express links to
what are being called 'implied links.'  Implied links do not actually
have to include the URL to the website, they are simply implied by the
mere mention of the website (or brand, product, service, etc.).  This
means that mentions and citations are going to be the next wave of
linkbuilding, mostly because they are much harder to manipulate in order
to score higher rankings in the SERPs.

This isn't to say anything of nofollow links, we expect these to stay
pretty heavy in the algorithm, but just to say that implied links are
going to weigh a lot more than express links.  Granted, this is mostly
educated speculation right now, but the patent filed by Google certainly
makes it clear that implied links are a real thing and will matter.

Reference Queries and Brand Mentions

But the changes aren't stopping there.  Not only does the Panda patent
talk about express and implied links, but authority calculation will now
also be affected reference queries.  This is essentially a road map that
starts with a very specific query that ends up in a very specific
location. In other words, if 80% of all queries into "soda pop" end up
on Coca Cola's page and not Pepsi's, Coca Cola will benefit from the
reference query weight of "soda pop."

This helps ensure that Google is directing searchers to the right pages
by sending them to the places that others have found success. This
determines popularity of the page by query entry, thus adding to the
authority of the site.  Basically, this is just another way to improve
the visitor experience so keep focusing on making sure you are giving
your audience exactly what they want.  The better you answer their
questions and meet their needs, the better your reference query scores
will be.

As for brand mentions, this is just another term for implied links. 
They are also called mentions and if you want your brand to carry
authority, you simply need other sites to talk about your brand and/or
website.  This is going to change the outlook on blogging since now you
don't really need anyone to place an express link in their blog, only
talk about you as an authority or in some similar form.