After missing last week’s meetup due to Atlanta’s Snowmageddon, which literally had the city in a state of gridlock, members showed up for the education, but enjoyed sharing their snow “war” stories with one another. A few staff members talked about how they spent the night at the EverSpark offices and enjoyed fine dining which included Domino’s pizza, Pringles potato chips, Progresso chicken noodle soup, gummy bears and beer. A long week indeed, but we prevailed.
Please be sure to join us every Wednesday from 8 to 9:30 am by RSVPing at the following link:
The meetup takes place at the EverSpark Interactive offices located at:
6 Concourse Parkway Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
This Week’s Recap:
What is Co-Citation / Co-Occurrence?
Rand Fishkin, CEO of Moz, made a bold prediction in his November 16, 2012, Whiteboard Friday video that anchor text is dying and will be replaced by Co-Citation. Was his prediction correct? What does this mean to the everyday marketer that doesn’t speak in SEO technical jargon?
Lets explain what Co-Citation is. Before I do, first let me begin with a history lesson. Over the past decade, SEOs from all over the world have successfully manipulated Google to their advantages by using a process called anchor text link-building. Meaning, if a company wanted to rank #1 on Google for a term like “Atlanta Florist” they would simply engage a link-building company to go out and build as many links as possible all linking back to their site using the anchor text “Atlanta Florist.” These link-building companies would then go about their business by mostly spamming blogs, forums, directories, and article banks until their client was either ranking #1 for the targeted term or their site was irrevocably penalized. For years, Matt Cutts and his webspam team have been trying to prevent these strategies from forcefully manipulating (and making a mockery) out of their search algorithm. That all changed April 24, 2012, when Google released the Penguin update, which sent the SEO community into a frenzy with over 700,000 websites getting penalized as a result. Since then Google has continued to refine this update, making it even harder and harder to manipulate their secret algorithm.
Co-Citation is the theory that if Site A is either linking to (or cites) Site B in one article, then also references (or links out to) Site C in another article, then Site B and C may be related to each other. Another example, if SearchEngineLand.com (Site B) mentions Matt Cutts and/or MattCutts.com (Site A) in one of their stories and SearchEngineJournal.com (Site C) mentions Matt Cutts and/or MattCutts.com (Site A) in one of their stories, then Google sees that Matt Cutts might have something to do with search engine journalism & news, through statistical correlation and NOT a keyword-rich backlink.
Co-Occurrence is the theory that words and phrases in close proximity develop an association and relationship which may be used by Google as a ranking factor.
So in the example that I used above, Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land frequently mentions Matt Cutts (the head of Webspam at Google) in his posts, therefore this sentence is forming a semantically related relationship between the following words:
- Danny Sullivan
- Search Engine Land
- Matt Cutts
And since EverSpark Interactive is an SEO agency, with a lot of content related to this topic throughout our site, we may have just passed a relevance signal as well as some of our popularity (PageRank) to the aforementioned keywords and their respective destinations without even linking out to them. But how would Google know which site (destination) to associate every keyword on the web? Perhaps they use their own data to associate keywords with destinations?
To see Rand’s original prediction, click the image below:
- Not All Anchor Text is Equal and other Co-Citation Observations
- Ranking Webpages Based upon Relationships Between Words (Google’s Co-Occurrence Patent)
- Co-Citation and Co-Occurrence – The Next Big Thing in SEO
- Good Bye Anchor Text, Welcome Co-Citations: Revolution in Link Building for 2013 Revealed
Majestic Clique Hunter Tool
Reverse-Engineer Your Competitors’ Backlinks
Majestic Clique Hunter is a great tool to reverse-engineer your competitors’ backlinks looking for patterns and matches. This is how we use it at EverSpark Interactive.
After logging into Majesticseo.com you simply click Tools > Link Map Tools > Clique Hunter which will then prompt you to enter your URL along with your top nine competitors’ URLs. In the following example, I am doing this exercise using EverSpark Interactive vs. nine of our competitors.
After you push the HUNT button, the tool will instantaneously spit back link data for all 10 sites categorized in descending order based upon link matches. In the example below, I can see that eight of our competitors have backlinks from blogspot.com, searchenginejournal.com and moz.com while our site does not. This data provides us with the transparency to not only reverse-engineer their link strategies, but also prioritize our plan of attack.
Next, what I like to do is export the report into a CSV file, leaving only the columns that are important for this exercise. I then filter it in descending order based on Citation Flow. Citation Flow is a number predicting how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it. From looking at the spreadsheet below, I see that we have some very trustworthy links that would be hard for our competitors to replicate like mentions on Inc.com and Bloomberg.com. On the negative side, I see that we are missing some easy link equity by not having a Pinterest, Blogspot, and Feedburner account/profile. Obviously some of these links and citations displayed are going to be harder to obtain, however with creativity and perseverance anything is possible.
One last tip on this matter, if you would like to see which strategies your competitors have used to obtain any of these links, you would use a Google site command search. For example, if I wanted to see how iCrossing was able to get a link or mention on sxsw.com, I would do the following search:
So in this case, I might have to try and get on a panel at SXSW to replicate that link. A tall order, but not impossible. Keep in mind that our company would get MUCH more value than that of a (dofollow) link if we took the stage at such a prestigious and well-known event.
More Link-Building Ideas
We also talked about another tool that MajesticSEO offers called the Majestic Million. This is an up-to-date list of ONE MILLION websites ranked in order of popularity by referring IP backlinks. Since these sites are all deemed trustworthy, based on their social popularity, it probably doesn’t hurt to have a link, citation, or active account with them. I recommend going through the list and see how your company could either get a link or brand mention of these sites. The first four are easy, simply set up a Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter account for your business. Each of these accounts will not only help legitimize your business to Google and possibly improve your search rankings, they provide so many other additional benefits.
If This Then That
At Namescon, I came across this tool called If this then that (IFTT). While I haven’t had the chance to play with it yet, I thought I would share it with the members.
Here is a pretty good overview video:
Infographic Case Study
How one infographic got links from Forbes and Huffington Post
In one of our previous meetings, a member asked the group if the use of infographics was a thing of the past. My response was that it depended on what you were trying to accomplish. If you are creating a basic inforgraphic for the purposes of building links from sites that will accept infographics, I would probably say don’t bother. However, if you can answer a complex problem visually, and spend a fair amount of time on the research, prep, design and most importantly outreach, PR and relationship-building, an infographic can get you a TON of exposure, some great links, and possibly new prospects and customers.
At the end of 2011, there was a lot of buzz and speculation claiming that SEO was (once again) dead. I covered it in this blog post, while Aaron Wall, from SEOBook, did a fantastic job visually putting that theory to bed through the use of an infographic, proclaiming that SEO will NEVER die.
This infographic got picked up, covered and linked to from the following sites:
- Forbes – SEO Is Not Dead And Will Never Die
- Huffington Post – Have Google’s Panda and Penguin Replaced SEO With Social, PR and Content, or a New Type of Savvy Marketing?
- Search Engine Land – The Death Of SEO, Failed Predictions Over The Years
- Moz – The Exact Match Domain Playbook: A Guide and Best Practices for EMDs
- + 256 other sites
Google In-Depth Articles
The last thing that we discussed was the new In-depth articles that are starting to show up at the bottom of the SERPs. For example, if you do a Google search for “Cancer” you should see three articles displaying at the bottom of the first page as shown below. These results are there to provide “high quality content to help you explore a subject,” at least that’s what it reads on the Google Webmaster Tools Community.
But can any site qualify for these? Short answer is yes.
Here are some of our findings:
- Only the top three In-depth articles show up without clicking an extra button
- Sites that have a Wikipedia page have a better chance of qualifying for these
- Article should be longer than 3,000 words
- Google seems to determine what the top three are through more-or-less traditional SEO
- The relevance can be tangential; it doesn’t have to be directly about the searched keyword
- Google decides when to show In-depth articles and when not to, based on a hidden algorithm that we don’t have much information about yet
- Schema.org article markup should be applied, specifically the following attributes: