Co-citation and co-occurrence are an alternative to traditional link building for SEO. While definitions vary, co-citation happens when website A links to websites B and C. In this scenario, websites B and C are said to be related through co-citation because they both are linked from website A. Co-occurrence refers to the text before and after a hyperlink.
Example of Co-citation
Here’s an example of co-citation:
In the example above, website A is linking to websites B and C. Websites B and C are said to be related by co-citation. In a way, there is a link or a relationship established between them even though no physical, direct link between them exists.
Example of Co-occurrence
Here’s an example of co-occurrence:
The Possible SEO Implications
For years, link anchor text appeared to be a large and heavily weighted factor in the search engines ranking algorithms. In other words, if you wanted to get your website to rank well organically for the keyword phrase “DC plumbing company,” you would attempt to acquire a lot of links to your website using that exact keyword phrase and perhaps some related variations of it.
Of course, once SEO companies and business owners discovered this ranking signal, many went about trying to create as many keyword anchor text links as possible—often using any means necessary (and not necessarily following Google’s webmaster quality guidelines). And so the proliferation of keyword anchor text link spam began. Suddenly, 30 keyword anchor rich links from as many low authority websites had the potential to be more beneficial to your organic rankings than one link using branded anchor text from a highly authoritative website.
Co-citation and co-occurrence are an important SEO development in that they have the potential to take the emphasis off “SEO trickery” and and reinforce the importance of acquiring mentions and references from truly authoritative websites. To learn more about Blue Corona’s SEO services, click here. If you need help developing a long-term SEO strategy and implementation plan, contact us today!