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The Future of SEO: Co-Citation

It seems like every time SEO strategies are firmly established, Google submits an algorithm change that changes the entire SEO game. For the most part, search engine optimization is at the mercy of Google’s algorithm changes. Figuring out how to adapt to those changes is key, and learning new theories and strategies is the first step towards obtaining that key.

One of the newest theories on the SEO block is the importance of Co-Citation. No, this has nothing to do with the styles of citation that you learned in college. Co-Citation does, however, have everything to do with page rank.

What is Co-Citation?

The definition of co-citation basically equates to a single web page on a site that mentions sites or similar content on two other websites. These other websites contain a similar mention to the first site, creating a sort of pool of site relation. With this form of linking, no actual linking is necessary. That’s right, no outbound or inbound links are needed to utilize co-citation.

All that is needed are a couple of sites that mention similar words, phrases, or content that appears on your site.

Co-citation is a newly minted theory originally coined by the owner of the ever-popular SEOmoz, Randy Fishkin. Testing the idea of co-citation, Fishkin located searches that turned up high ranking results seemingly from nowhere. The only real connection between the high ranking sites and others was the co-citation of content mentioning sites from multiple external sources.

What about Co-Occurrence?

Co-occurrence is a slightly different term that refers to a similar SEO concept. Instead of two sites referring to an external site, co-occurrence likely refers to two similar keywords or phrases that are mentioned closely to one another. These phrases alert Google’s crawlers that the content is important and lends itself to page ranking.

There is a debate, however, on whether or not co-occurrence and co-citation are the exact same concept. It may be that the two concepts, sites that mention other sites and keywords combined with other keywords, are used in tandem. Those who can combine keywords in close proximity with sites with co-citation instances are likely to see some serious page rank increases.

How to Take Advantage of Co-Citation

The importance of sites that mention content on another site is only going to increase due to recent search engine changes. One of the only tried and true ways to get content mentioned on another site is to create engaging, quality content. Despite all of the changes in SEO strategies, content is still king. Now, however, the content must be good enough to get others excited.

Create site content that is timely and likely to be re-posted. Make sure to visit other sites and guest post or post comments in their forums.

A little bit of great content can go a long way.

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