This could be a difficult one to test, but it would be interesting to know the answer to.

Lots of publications etc. link to my various websites, and in Google – if you type in the site name, then my site appears at the top.

So far – as expected.

However, what about when someone cites a website brandname, but does not then link to the website.

This actually happens quite a bit in news publications, where the author is (understandably) not that familiar with links and SEO.

For example – the following sentence contains one of my website names, but did not actually contain a hyperlink to my site.

Vodacom is now targeting opportunities in Algeria, Ghana, Nigeria and Angola, according to a report from Cellular News.

I would presume that the search engines will create some sort of association between the words in the sentence and the website name – which in this case happens to also be two “normal” words.

It’s whether the website itself also benefits at all – either directly by the presumption of a weblink where none exists, or by thematic assocations so that the terms “cellular news” becomes associated with the network operator, “vodacom” and then hence, searches for “vodacom” and where has relevent content – then gets a better search results placement

Not really sure how to test for that – without some serious site building. I guess it is the sort of question that only those inside the search engines would be able to answer.

The fact that my website name is hypenated is a problem as citations without the brandname are often written as two words, Cellular News which is not instantly recognisable as a unique brandname by the search engines.

Unfortunatly, a cybersquatter is sitting on the non-hypenated version of my domain name and wont reply to advances to buy it. I hope they don’t renew when it expires in 2008, and I will finally get my hands on it – then can encourage citations using the single phrase, CellularNews which is more likely to gain from any brand associations that the search engines may be able to detect.

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