Co-citation in SEO refers to the mutually beneficial relationship that arises when websites discuss interconnected topics, concepts, and reference each other. It plays a crucial role in influencing search engine rankings by considering the contextual relevance of the surrounding words within links. While link building is a well-known strategy, it is not favoured by Google.
How does co-citation work?
This is where co-citation comes into play (along with co-occurrence, which we’ll explore in the next section). This simply means that a website is mentioned by two different sources, even if they are not directly linked. It’s a straightforward concept. For instance, if multiple websites mention Search Engine Journal without necessarily providing a hyperlink, Google recognizes this as co-citation, which is beneficial for the mentioned website.
The key idea behind this concept is that these mentions can occur naturally or unintentionally, creating a sense of authenticity and credibility. Consequently, the mentioned website and all the other websites referring to it become interconnected, further enhancing their relevance.
A noteworthy insight from a podcast suggests that it may not necessarily be detrimental to have both your site and your competitors’ site linked in the same article. This practice actually helps establish a level playing field through co-citation, as the podcast aptly explains.
Read more on this subject: Search Engine Journal
Co-citation is a citation metric that measures the frequency with which two documents are referenced together by other documents. A higher number of co-citations indicates a stronger correlation in subject matter between the two documents.
Within the realm of SEO, co-citation is regarded as one of the influential factors that shape Google’s understanding of web pages, their relationships with each other, and their overall relevance.
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