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28 January 2013

SEO Search Engine Optimisation

How Co-Citation Is Becoming A Prominent Factor In Search

The year 2012 brought many alterations to the wonder that is Google’s algorithm, creating many difficulties for established companies – even those with a reputable online presence. Designed to bring searchers the best possible results which are completely relevant to their queries and make life harder for marketers, Panda and Penguin updates proved that there really is no limitations to what delights are in store for us in the coming years.

"So how do I stay ahead of the game?" I hear you cry…well, with many digital agencies out there competing to win the same highly competitive battle for their clients, it becomes a question which seems complicated to answer – but this may not be the case…

 Links, Pre-Penguin and Anchor Text

Many SEOs have established their clientele websites through various means over the years, and we all know the method which was previously a win-win for many. That method was link building. Hundreds and thousands of links, any site, anywhere! A likely scenario - two mechanic websites with the same structure, closely matched content and same purpose. Each site has 200 inbound links but site A has 80 links with the exact match anchor text – Mechanic Oxford. Site B has only 25 links pointing to it using this anchor text. Pre-penguin, site A will have most likely ranked higher for this key term…

 Post Penguin

Anti-spam, anti-over-optimisation update Penguin specifically targeted this unnatural, highly unfair linking stratagem with sometimes severe effects to businesses and agencies alike. Masses of exact-match anchor text and spikes in link building activity were identified and penalised. With this in mind, site A would have been de-ranked to a much greater extent than
site B.

 Penguin Fix

To recover from these decreases in rankings, SEOs were to amend/remove culprit links while creating new links in a natural manner, with wider search terms and natural link building over time. Exact-match anchor text should account for less than 30% of the overall count.

The Rise Of Co-Citation

Recent predictions noted that Google is moving towards co-citation. But what is it? Putting it simply, co-citation is link building without the links! Yes, without the links…

The concept is pretty simple to grasp, and it makes sense too. Google will now intelligently recognise all associations in informative, quality content around the web and match them to the sites mentioned. For instance, an article goes out on an authoritative SEO website, purely because they are interested in placing it there. This enticing article discusses the importance of co-citation (a perfect example), and happens to mention FDC Studio as being a top digital agency in Leicester. Even without any link, Google will identify this citation as kudos towards the FDC Studio website and consequently credit it with better rankings.

A couple of important factors to note are; the placement site’s relevancy to your website’s purpose and also to the content of the written piece. With these boxes ticked, you can expect to see some qualified results from numerous mentions.

The Future of SEO

SEO isn’t dying; it is constantly being adjusted, refined and enhanced to better suit the most important person – the searcher. With this in mind, it is easy to understand the course of action necessary to beat the competition. Keep it natural, keep it user friendly!

By Sam Hurley

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