What is Co-citation – Definition

Co-citation refers to a concept in SEO and bibliometrics where two websites or documents are mentioned together on a third-party website, indicating a relationship or thematic similarity between them. In the context of SEO, co-citation is used as a signal by search engines to understand the relevance and authority of websites. When Website A and Website B are both cited by Website C, it suggests that they are related in content or subject matter, potentially boosting their perceived value and relevance in search engine algorithms.

Types of Co-citation

  1. Academic Co-citation: Common in scholarly research, where two studies are cited together in subsequent research papers, indicating their relevance or contribution to a specific field of study.
  2. Digital Marketing Co-citation: In SEO, when two websites are mentioned or linked from a third website, suggesting a relationship or thematic similarity between them. This type does not always involve direct hyperlinks but mentions or references.

How Co-citation Works in SEO

Co-citation in SEO does not rely on direct links between two websites but rather on a third party that mentions or links to both. This relationship can help search engines understand the context and thematic connection between websites. For example, if a high-authority website in the digital marketing field mentions two separate websites in the context of SEO tools, search engines might infer that both are authoritative in the SEO space, potentially improving their search rankings for related queries.

Examples of Co-citation

  1. Academic Example: Two research papers on climate change are frequently cited together in subsequent studies, establishing a thematic link between them in the field of environmental science.
  2. SEO Example: A popular blog on digital marketing mentions Website A and Website B in an article about the best online marketing strategies. This co-citation can help search engines understand that both websites are relevant and possibly authoritative in the topic of online marketing.

Technical Details

In SEO, the value of co-citation as a ranking factor is somewhat debated, but it is generally agreed that thematic relevance and authoritative mentions can positively influence a website’s search engine rankings. The concept emphasizes the importance of natural links and mentions within a relevant content context, moving beyond simple link building to a more holistic approach in establishing website authority and relevance.

Nedim Mehic

Nedim is a senior technical SEO specialist, and the co-founder of Beki AI. On the Beki AI blog, we share new and innovative strategies to SEO and content marketing.

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