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Citations Remain Critical to SEO Survival
Keyword optimization was the only significant factor when it came to search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Content creators quickly learnt the techniques through which they could stuff web content with lots of keywords so as to rank high. This spamming technique did not last long because the search engines through change in algorithms found a way of punishing them. Many of their sites were even de-indexed from search engine databases leading to total losses.
The Concept of Citations
The use of citations or link building was developed later through Larry Page - Sergey Brin thesis. The propositions formulated from this thesis were adopted and used in the building of the link graph. This was seen as the permanent solution to page rankings.
As Travis Jamison, owner of Supremacy SEO explains it, "The concept of citations can be best understood from academic papers. Both in the body of the paper and at the end, the writers of these papers usually cite other sources that they consider relevant to their work. The more a paper is cited, the more it is considered authoritative. If the papers in a certain field were to be ranked, authoritative papers would have more votes than the less cited ones. In the academic world, the finite nature of the academic work, the small nature of the communities and the lack of an incentive to spam have made the citation technique to be credible and effective."
The Effectiveness of Citation on the Web
Search engines are still dependent on links and use them heavily in determining page ranks. This is in spite of the fact that link spammers have invented various techniques to bypass the ranking algorithms. The use of techniques such as link buying and selling, link swapping, forum comment stuffing among others is on the rise.Google has managed to arrest some of the culprits and the punishment has been heavy. The losses some business owners have had to undergo are so high such that some have been forced out of business.
Why Some Bad Sites Still Outrank Good Ones
The usefulness of link building in SEO has benefited both the bad and the good guys. Some sites have ranked high despite them being less authoritative. The reasons behind this include:
Huge Volumes of Websites
Search engines are no longer dealing with millions of sites but rather trillions of them. Google for instance has indexed more than 500 trillion web pages. This makes it difficult to monitor a single malicious website that may use unethical techniques to outrank the rest.
There are lots of advertising being done online. Some of the sites on which these advertisements are done do not have the “no-follow” attribute. This means that advertisers can place anchor texts back to their sites thereby creating powerful links without Google ever noticing.
The Proliferation of User Generated Content
Many link building spammers have mastered the art of using forum commenting, social media and blog sites to build links to their sites. Because of the fact that they utilize the user generated content strategy, it becomes very difficult to be noticed.
The Absence of a Definitive Web Structure
The web is the most chaotic place. There is so much that goes on such as people interacting with pages, various pieces of content posted, differences in web traffic goals and so forth. This lack of structure has given room for spammers to take advantage of link building to rank high.
How You Can Use Citation in an Ethical Way to Boost Your Rankings
"Despite the many spammers that are out to outrank your site, you need to be focused on your own reputation and visibility building strategies", says . You can make use of the following techniques to rank high.
Organic Social Media
By becoming active on social media, you can easily gain a reputation that will lead people back to your site. Using the central hub technique, social media traffic can easily trick back to your site.
Posting Quality Content on Earned Media
Earned media or guest posting as is commonly known can be an excellent way of exposing your brand through well written content. This will give you a good reputation that will enable people to search for you.
Writing of eBooks
Dissemination of knowledge through eBooks can help you market your brand without having SEO in mind. This can help you to attract audience that may want to know more about you.
Networking with Influential Bloggers and Media
Influential bloggers already have a very high catch of followers. By networking with these people, you can easily prosper in their shadows. Your profile will rise and as a result get a share of their followers.
Citations are very critical to SEO. However, you need to be very careful on how you approach the use of citations to rank in favorable search engine positions.