SEO Trends: Out with Anchor Text, in with Co-Citation

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In recent weeks, search engine optimization media outlets and experts have been touting a trend, which may leave many dissatisfied, while others amazed with their newfound high search rankings – for keywords they hadn’t even tried optimizing and ranking for. This, some industry analysts, explain, is all part of Google’s new strategy for encouraging quality content on websites, as opposed to mere keyword stuffing. It’s a concept many may be unfamiliar with, which is why a cursory explanation follows—of the term co-citation.

What Is Co-Citation?
Co-citation of a key phrase and keyword together with a brand name has been touted as the next thing set to replace anchor texts in SEO strategies. The increased usage of this strategy becomes immediately apparent if you search for a key phrase that’s likely to generate some serious competition (such as ‘laptop ratings’ or similar phrases). You are bound to get some top results, which, when clicked through, will reveal neither one of the two words that make up the phrase. In most cases, the key phrase is not on the page, not in the title of the page either – yet many websites are high rankers, in the detriment of those that are using the keyword with a fair amount of density and employing it as title. While the actual mechanism behind this is not entirely clear, many are surmising that it has a lot to do with co-citation.

How Does Co-Citation Work?
In brief, when an article on, say ‘laptop ratings’ mentions a highly popular product comparison website for laptops, or a review website with trusted content on the same topic, Google probably notices the association between the key phrase ‘laptop ratings’ and the domain name of the afore-mentioned website. It doesn’t have to be a live link, pointing back to that site – often enough, it isn’t. Google, however, will keep indexing such co-occurrences, and rank that site highly, if a sufficient number of people mention it in association with the keyword or key phrase at hand.

How Will Co-Citation Change the Future of SEO Strategies?
For one thing, such practices will definitely entail a high infusion of public relations into the world of SEO. In order to feature on as many websites as possible, as a good source of *insert keyword you’re looking to rank for here*, you’re going to need lots of people out there, associating the name of you brand with that particular keyword. It’s a type of SEO that not many companies are applying, as they choose to focus on actual website architecture, root domain tags, and such. They’re still building on their anchor text density, while overlooking the fact that anchors have been grossly abused of late, and, as such, are turning obsolete. As the Google search algorithm gets increasingly intuitive and community-focused, capable of understanding context and semantics, things and attitudes are bound to change.
Author Bio
Ryan Franks works in SEO content creation and is lucky enough to be very passionate about his job. He likes staying updated on the latest news in the field and can recommend some proficient digital agencies, with all-new strategies, to anyone seeking to improve their search engine page rankings.


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