Whom did you wake up with this morning? (Guestpost)
Christoph Cemper is one of the smartest linkbuilders in the industry. I first met him in New York where he was attending SES New York. In Amsterdam at the A4UExpo though he blew us all away with a fabulous presentation on linkbuilding. And that's just what he's writing about today!
Whom did you wake up with this morning?
Link Building has been around for ages. In fact link building was an important technique even before the link based algorithms of Google and other search engines made it THE essential method to improve the search engine rankings of websites. With Google especially becoming more and more sophisticated in evaluation of link growth and link quality to combat (automated) link spam they introduced a lot of new quality signals in the last years to interpret how well a site deserves ranking high in their results. Co-Citation is one principle every SEO should know, understand and practice.
So what exactly IS a co-citation?
Bibliographic Co-Citation is a popular similarity measure used to establish a subject
So the co-citation makes the search engine understand what your site is similar to. In the above diagram the four sites A,B,C,D are related to each other, simply because the sites 1,2 and 3 are all linking to them. Why is that important you might ask?
How does co-citation relate to bad neighborhood?
Above you see classic example of bad neighborhood is the sunglasses link among the casino and pharmacy links in a typical paid link ad box (which is already bad by itself, but that’s a different and constantly stressed topic). Don’t E.V.E.R. go for a link like that. No matter what the site owner or the page rank toolbar or ANY other metric tells you, such a link is NO GOOD!
This is important for every single link to your website, so each of your link builders and the companies that do link building for you must be aware of. Otherwise they’ll get distracted by old school SEO metrics like Google page rank or a cache date only, and as I mentioned before, these are not sufficient indicators for a quality link.
Be warned, if you don’t pay attention to the issue of co-citations you might wake up one day and find yourself besides one of the bad guys of the web, and that will mean a loss of rankings and trust by Google.
Be in a prominent, good neighborhood!
Alternatively you can also click the “Similar” link directly in the SERPS. In the above example for the website of my company CEMPER.COM you’ll get quite a nice ist of reputable guys that also focus on link building and SEO and with many of them being tutors, partners or even friends for years. Some of those results of similar sites are WeBuildPages.com, Stuntdubl (whom I just met a few days ago in San Francisco), SEObook.com, David Naylor, ShoeMoney and the popular WebmasterWorld forum by Brett Tabke, the Google webmaster tools and even Matt Cutts’ personal blog.
As you can see we are all in the same business of SEO and link building and are obviously related to each other in Google’s eyes.
How to find and add great co-citations to a page
So if you’re trying to rank higher than your competitors, keep in mind your co-citations, which is your link neighborhood. In a perfect world you would even monitor those co-citations, preferably over time, to make sure there’s no waking up with a bad surprise in the morning for you. For all the pages where you’re getting links from, to whom else do these pages link to? Are the other links on that page related to your site, your industry, your theme? If not, why is there a link to YOU on the page?
Use your gutfeeling here - is that co citation something that will help or hurt you?
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