Google has changed a lot over the last few years which has forced SEOs and webmasters to adapt. Change isn’t a bad thing as long as your versatile enough to keep up, it’s only a rigid adherence to past techniques that will potential risk sending you the way of the dinosaurs.
In order to keep ahead of the competition in SEO then, it’s crucial that you stay up to date with the latest changes and employ the most recent strategies. An example of this is ‘co-citations’, which is quickly becoming the next ‘big thing’ in the industry.
If you don’t already know what that is then you’d better read on. Extinction looms large…
What Are Co-Citations ?
Co-citations are one of the biggest examples of Google’s algorithms becoming more advanced with time. Here you are going to promote your site in a way that wouldn’t have made any sense in the past, and which doesn’t even involve getting a link in the conventional manner from the site you’re looking at.
So let’s say that you have a tech site and you want to be noticed by Google. Now of course a link from The Verge would be a huge benefit and would hugely boost your ranking, but it also happens to be nigh impossible to get unless you’re already a major player. What’s more realistic though is a co-citation – through an association established on another site The Tagline for Digital Marketing Ideas.
In other words, if another website were to list popular tech sites and placed your site’s name in a list of popular tech sites and that list included The Verge, then Google might see this as showing a link between your site and the verge.
What’s surprising here is that the mention doesn’t even need to include an actual link – as long as your site is mentioned alongside another that’s enough of a connection for Google to take notice. It’s not quite as powerful as them actually linking to you, but it’s nevertheless a powerful tool and something that’s much easier to accomplish.
Similarly, some SEO experts believe that co-occurrence plays a role – when your site is listed alongside some keywords. So returning to the example of the technology site, if another site wrote that you could get ‘the latest technology news at yoursite.com’, then Google might use this to associate the keyphrase ‘latest technology news’ with your domain.
A Word of Caution :
This is a potentially powerful tool, particularly as it would allow you to essentially double the effectiveness of your guest posts and your own blogs. Ask for a link in exchange for your guest post, throw in a few co-citations at the same time, and perhaps you could double the effectiveness of that swap.
But it’s important to bear in mind that this is currently just a theory. Although there is some evidence already to support the idea of co-citations, you should still proceed with caution for now and not dedicate too much time to it until we have a better idea. That said, it can’t hurt to mention a few sites alongside yours, so why not give it a try?
It’s worth noting too that if it’s possible to create positive associations this way, it might also be possible to create negative associations. If someone lists your site next to a range of sites that are considered to be spam, then could that actually damage your rankings?
Michael Todd, the author of this article, works with PenTech Solutions, leading providers of a range of web services. He is pretty handy with the guitar and also plays at the local pub on weekends.