A citation, link, or mention in any digital material is a sign of trust, endorsement, and authority similar to that seen in academic papers. Anyone with a basic understanding of link building understands this much; however, when done honestly, co-citation—which refers to the network of similarities between citations, links, and mentions—can be powerful.
A co-citation is a situation in which two websites or brands are mentioned (not linked) by the same set of sources. The co-citation idea rests on the notion that excellent websites will link to and compliment other reputable sites.
In co-citation, there is a high degree of content-driven connection between two websites because they both mention the same website and not because of any actual connections between them. It’s been dubbed “link building without links” by some.
In order for sites to be connected in a co-citation relationship, they must…
- Share a common mention of the same site. There does not have to be a link.
- Discuss a similar topic. There does not have to be shared keywords.
This relationship is important for two reasons:
First, co-citation tells search engines that your website contains valuable and relevant information. After all, if other high-quality websites are citing yours, then yours must be worth citing!
Second, co-citations help to build relationships between different websites and brands. These relationships are important for networking, link building, and co-marketing opportunities.
In short, co-citation is an important part of SEO because it helps to improve your website’s visibility and reputation.
There are a few ways to increase your co-citation rate:
1) Make sure your website contains high-quality, relevant, and original content.
2) Reach out to other websites and brands in your industry to collaborate on co-marketing opportunities or cross-promotions.
3) Make it easy for others to cite your website by including share buttons, social media widgets, and RSS feeds.