Unless you have been under a rock, you are very aware, and may have been kicked in the crotch by Google’s drastic changed in SERPs this year. between Panda and Penguin, there are a lot of questions about what changes have been made to the algo that ranks sites. A lot of SEO guru’s are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how to rank sites now.
For the most part, things remain the same. Build quality backlinks to your website. What has changed is the days of using a staid anchor phrase like “web design” over and over is dead. Google is now penalizing you for doing that. That is a marked departure from the days when no backlink could hurt you. You now have to carefully nurture your backlink profile like some sort of prized garden, and use Google’s backlink disavow tool to prune unwanted links from your profile. Of course, that proves that all of these changes Google is doing are not working they way they want, and now they want people to police their own garden, so to speak. This also opens up negative SEO campaigns by competitors. If they want to spend time and energy trashing your site they can.
In short, these updates have really thrown a wrench into how SEO has been done and it will be interesting to see what modifications have been made to the ever evolving algo. That brings me to Co-citation. One of Google’s assumed changes in the past year has been a heavier reliance on on page content for the purpose of co-citation. Google as always is mum about this piece of the puzzle. But, several SEO’s are purporting that co-citation is real and you better get on board or be left at the station.
What exactly is co-citation?
Co-citation is when a more than one site’s web page content cites 2 other sites to create a relationship between the 2 sites which don’t link to each other directly. More interestingly, it is probable that Google is using a proximity formula to discern how relevant the links are. This is known as CPI (Co-Citation Proximity Index). What this means is that when a document links to two other pages on the web, the proximity of those 2 links on the page to each other would be indicative how how relevant the links are to each other. Thus, in theory 2 links spread out on a page are less relevant that 2 links in the same paragraph.