The weak link building structure has created a very bad reputation over the last 5 years of search engine optimization. It has made things very complicated for online marketers to do their work. Besides, Google has regularly updating its search algorithms to provide better results to its users. To achieve this motive, Google refreshed its penguin update that hammered so many websites for their bad link profile and exact match anchor text in late Nov and early Dec. The wake of penguin update made it clear that exact match anchor text are deteriorating and using them can cause a big harm to your website.
Why Google Doesn’t like Exact Match
A link with exact match anchor text just doesn’t look natural to Google. Thus, Google is not really interested in those links which have built by you, because you have full control on anchor text and you can manipulate it as much as you want.
Google wants to see that website links to you only if they enjoy your content, like it and share it with their audience. If most of your backlinks have exact match anchor text, then it means you possibly built most of them yourself and Google doesn’t like it.
What you should use now
If the anchor text is not valuable for your website then what should you use? It is a big question that can cause much trouble for you and other SEO professionals. But you need not to worry, the answer for this question has been in the search community for quite a while and the answer is “co-citation” and “co-occurrence.” You probably have heard of these two terms because many industry experts have been talking about these new formulas of getting better exposure at SERP.
What are Co-citation and co-occurrence?
Co-citation and co-occurrence are the most important factors that have the ability to greatly influence the position of your website in Google’s search results. It can also have a big effect on the backlink you get because these factors make them look real to Google. To get a deeper idea about these, keep reading the article.
Co-citation is the methods of building links without an actual link or when a brand is mentioned by two other brands without linking, it is called co-citation.
There are two general circumstances when an SEO co-citation relationship can occur:
- Shared mention of the same site on different places, without a link.
- Discuss of related topic without the use of shared keywords.
Through the co-citation method, search engine algorithm can understand that the three websites are interrelated and the mentioned brand is significant. Generally, an authority website plays a communal role to less authority sites.
Co-occurrence is the presence, frequency and closeness of relevant keywords across different websites.
It typically means the inclusion of keywords that are similar, but not exactly the same. Co-occurrence has a correlation with latent semantic indexing (LSI) which has been in SEO for a long time. LSI considers that the webpages that have many words in common are semantically close.
These days, Google emphasize more on natural relationships between brands and so co-citation and co-occurrence are proving to be a game changer of the SEO world.
How to do co-citation & co-occurrence
The search algorithms are already emphasizing on providing a search result that is not manipulated based on the keywords. So it becomes essential that you learn the ways to do co-citation and co-occurrence. Here is hot to do it:
- Don’t focus on anchor text
Although, many people have already stopped focusing on anchor text but some are still using it excessively. This is a good piece of advice for them to stop optimizing anchor texts. Instead, try to broadcast your website’s presence and achieve many mentions.
- Focus on building your brand presence
Co-citation and co-occurrence mainly focus on improving a brand’s value and exposure. It motivates to increase the brand mentions on the internet, when a highly trusted brand mentions you, it signals search algorithms that you are important.
- Forget the keywords
The sole concept of co-occurrence and co-citation is to develop an indirect natural relationship between brands, which of course look genuine. But if you keep focus on building links on keywords, then the relationship will be counted as direct. In the end your website might get penalized because of over optimized anchor texts.
There are a couple of great ways that can let you earn links through co-occurrence and co-citation:
- Keep curating high quality content on trending topics
- Make your content worth so big authority brands can share it.
- Give contextual outbound links to trusted websites.
Co-citation and co-occurrence is definitely the next big thing in search engine optimization. It has already started changing the scenario of link building, and I am sure in future it will transform the way of building links into brand building. But what about you, are you prepared for this, are you ready to take advantage of co-citations and co-occurrence? Tell me in the comments section.