Citations in SEO is a simple online reference to an organization that features the organization’s name, web address, and contact information (NAP or URL). In most cases, when an SEO references citations, they’re referring to an internal group of business listings on different websites. However, other kinds of citations also exist.
A word of caution about any kind of link-building strategy. When it comes to what is citations in SEO, there is no substitution for solid linking strategies. Search engines are constantly searching for links pointing to one’s website and penalizing those that are artificial or deceptive in nature. Therefore, it’s important to have a good understanding of link building, and the appropriate tools that can be used to create these links.
Number of Ways That a Webmaster Can Obtain
There are a number of ways that a webmaster can obtain what is called a “link back” from another website or blog. When doing so, it’s important to realize the search engine ranking requirements for each site and how these relate to your own SEO efforts. Some sites require that the hyperlink is within a relevant context, while others simply expect the text content of the link to conform to the text on the site. In addition, some sites are only interested in links from certain web pages, whereas others will even approve of an anchor text that appears in your own web pages as long as the source is relevant to the page where it’s linked from. Thus, it’s important to be aware of how and where links back to your web pages will factor into your search engine rankings.
So, what are citations in SEO and how do they factor into the search engine ranking calculations? When webmasters are submitting links back to other web pages, they must include the specific information that is required by search engines to evaluate the relevancy of that site. Those details, which are called “citations” by SEO professionals, are essentially the details that show the search engine spiders and humans that the online resource material being linked to have been built in a particular way and is relevant to the page where it’s linked from.
The Difference between Keywords or Key Phrases
The details included are: the keywords or key phrases that describe the page or site being linked; the name or URL of the website that published the information; the date that the information was published online; and, ideally, a couple of other pieces of information about the online entity that published the details. It’s important to understand that some types of information aren’t accepted as citations. For example, links from external sites such as news agencies or government websites are often not accepted. Other types of online citations are much more common and are accepted almost everywhere. The problem lies with the low quality, out-of-date information included in those online resources.
The biggest problem with low-quality citations is that search engine spiders and humans generally ignore them. In the past, this resulted in inaccurate rankings for that particular web page or site. Because search engines have become more complex over the years, relying on a single source for information can be difficult. In fact, most people use several different online sources to learn about the latest happenings at any given web site. If a site is not included in one of those sources, it can create problems for that site.
Improving the Reliability of the Information
As a webmaster or website administrator seeking to improve the reliability of the information included in links posted on other web pages, or to improve the ranking of the particular web site, it’s necessary to make sure that the information being submitted by the webmaster is accurate and fresh. This is particularly important for anyone who is posting to blogs, which are indexed by search engines and are often a great source for improving the reputation of a web site.
Search engines use a complex system called the Hub Pages Search Engine Results Page (SERP) to rank web pages. A site may appear in one or more of the SERPs if it is highly relevant to the query being asked for. However, the search engine determines how relevant the page is by looking at the links on that web page, determining if those links lead only to sites that are themselves highly relevant to the search query, and then taking all of those into consideration when determining how the page ranks among all of the other pages.
For webmasters who need to learn what citations in SEO is, it’s important to understand just how the process works. There are several different ways that a site can receive citations. First, webmasters may provide links to their own web pages that include hyperlinks to other web pages (citations), as well as providing supplemental information to web pages that are themselves included in what is citations in SEO. Additionally, a webmaster can submit to an indexer an article, video, or other type of multimedia presentation that utilizes contextual links and also includes a reference to another web page.