I posted a LinkedIn poll asking “Do you think that brand mentions influence organic search rankings?”
The poll showed that 94% of SEOs says brand mentions will influence organic search rankings. There were over 200 votes on this poll, whereas 6% said brand mentions will not influence on organic search rankings.
I’m sure that brand mentions (unlinked mentions, or implied links) have an impact on SEO. Search Quality Raters Guideline documents indicate that Google evaluates brand mentions when determining a website’s reliability. Brand mentions help Google understand what the brand stands for, what it serves, and how it is related.