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Not to alarm you or anything but the over-drama here is just to call your attention (and by “your,” I mean every person, company, agency, freelancer, website designer, anyone who has any responsibility for a website’s success or failure) to the information I now have about co-citation.

The crisis to which I refer is the lack of understanding we (including me until very recently) have about this mysterious business of co-citation. I had no idea of the what, the why and the where of co-citation until I was schooled by my bosses at the SEO reseller firm where I’ve worked for about 6 years. During a recent meeting, someone said something about co-citation, I said “Co…what?” and my bosses said, almost simultaneously, “You didn’t just ask that question!” I said, “Yes. I did.”

Then one of them said, “You work for an SEO reseller and don’t know what co-citation is?” To which I replied, “I’m in marketing. I market. I don’t co-citate.” Well, that’s right about when the lesson started because co-citation, as it turns out, is a big part of content marketing. Once I was clued in to that piece of wisdom, it all became clear why my bosses thought I should know about co-citation. I do content marketing for our SEO reseller program!


The brain trust that explained co-citation to all of us at that meeting is consumed with SEO. They read and study and analyze and predict and prepare for every new SEO thing that comes along. It’s kind of annoying actually but my point is, they know too much and the way they explain things, frankly, it goes over the average person’s head sometimes. I’m making it a point to explain co-citation in a way that won’t go over the average person’s head. Read it and learn it. Your boss or clients or whomever…will be impressed that you even know there is such a thing as co-citation SEO. Trust me, most people don’t even know that much. I’ve asked around.

To begin, co-citation is the same thing as citation SEO, SEO citation, co-citation analysis and probably a few other combinations of those words.

Start with the Basics

Say you’re a small business with a primary goal of selling products for dogs. You’ve got your website for which you write targeted content that contains your targeted keywords. And of course you do all of the basic things you have to do for onsite SEO. You want to rank for keywords like “dog grooming,” “dog behavior problems,” “dog toys,” “dog chew toys” and other keywords that will draw dog owners to your site.

Link It Up

Co-citation comes into play when you write content and place it offsite for the purpose of building links back to your website. For example, you find a site called and submit your article. Your article is published and within that article is a hard-earned anchor text link to your website.

The Company You Keep Reflects On You

Now, you have your link on It so happens that has linked some of their content to authority sites like Wikipedia and Those sites are very highly ranked on the keyword “dogs,” making that link you got on even more valuable. Think of it as….not guilt by association but SUCCESS by association. You’re cited on that site, WebMD is cited on that site – you’re co-cited. You’re in good company. You benefit from having a link on a page that links to other authoritative sources. You can feel extra good and extra accomplished when you’ve achieved co-citation.

Prove It!

So after all of this explaining about co-citation, I asked my bosses, “Why isn’t everyone writing about how important co-citation is for SEO? Are you sure Google is even factoring co-citation into the rankings anymore? Maybe co-citation got thrown out with one of those Google algorithm updates.” (Excellent question that shows I’ve been paying attention and I know about Google updates, right?!) The answer is: Yes.

Co-citation is important to Google rankings. And because my bosses are such data junkies, they have data to prove it. They always have data. They track all of our content marketing and they see it working for our targeted keywords. Apparently, with all of the content marketing I’ve been doing, I’ve scored some co-citation quite by accident and I’ve helped our rankings on some of our most important targeted keywords. That’s why they keep me around.

If you want to know more about the crazy experiments my bosses do to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that things like co-citation, content marketing and SEO in general works, you’ll have to talk to them. Sorry, this is where I check out.

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Posted by Ellen Gipko

Ellen Gipko is a content marketing specialist and blogger for HubShout, a US based website reseller, SEO reseller and online marketing firm. Services include SEO, Local SEO, PPC, Websites, Social Media, Email Marketing and Content Marketing.

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