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Increasing Relevance of Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence

The SEO industry constantly tries to predict the way Google works. Apart from Black Hat SEO's who try to find loopholes into the actual algorithm system, genuine SEO's try and understand the reason behind why a specific website ranks higher than another one and instead of trying to manipulate the search results, they follow the Google's guidelines and plan their strategies in order to help the user.

Two of the biggest ranking factors that have been debated from a long time without any actual proof are Co-Occurence and Co-Citations. Backlinks as we all know are dominated by the presence of relevant anchor text which is open to spam. On the other hand, metrics like Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence are harder to manipulate. But, will they return accurate search results if implemented properly is still unkown.

This is the reason, Google still relies heavily on anchor text and backlinks. But, certainly these metrics are set to play a greater role in future and we cannot say either that they are completely ignored by Google.

Let us now understand, the meaning of these 2 terms.

Co-Citation Meaning with Example

Co-Citation- In short, these are your neighbourhood links.

You must have seen those references while reading any Wikipedia article on the web. These are nothing but Co-Citations, relationship between 2 documents.

Have a look at the example below:

In this example, the 11 resources cited by Wikipedia are all related to the topic "Co-Citation". Hence, this metric decides your neighbourhood links or your company. Now, its upto you to decide whether you wish to be cited in a relevant company or a spammy company.

Some webmasters tend to buy links from irrelevant sites that cites different sources together which bear no similarity to each other.

Considering a site linking to "buy inkjet printer" along with a link to "play online casino". These links cited by the source do not share a common similarity and thus play a devastating role in making Google believe that your site is spammy. Hence, the site providing the link and the site getting the link, all need to be careful in order to get a high relationship score.

Co-Occurrence Meaning with Example

Co-Occurrence- In short, these are brand or product name mentions in relation to a keyword.

Suppose, my name is often associated with my blog's name This means that Joydeep Bhattacharya (my name) has a high relationship score with the keyword "seosandwitch". This is what co-occurrence does.

Google Semantic Search Algorithm and The Role of Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence

The hummingbird algorithm started a fresh new beginning for Google which started to return answers instead of web references. This algorithm was based on searcher's intent and not keywords. Semantic search analysis involved understanding the intent of the user before presenting the search results. The metrics Co-Citations and Co-Occurrence play an exciting role here. Google can easily determine the relationship between Barack Obama and America using Co-Occurrence metric. This is what semantic analysis does.

Please note that there is still no proof that Google is using these factors in its main algorithm but they must certainly be given a second thought.

Also See:

Deeper Understanding of Knowledge Graph
How Does Google Applies Semantic Search?
Latent Semantic Indexing
Facebook Graph Search Optimization
Universal Analytics
Learn Seo Step by Step
Hard Time Ahead for Black Hat Seo's
Seo Factors That Have the Biggest Impact on Rankings
Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings
Why Brand Matters in Seo
How to Clean Your Link Profile?