What is Trust Factor and How it Affects Your SEO

by John Johnson January 1st, 2014 


Over the last several years I have seen so many updates in Google's algorithm. Google's system never stays consistent.

Here we are going to discuss one of the most important changes to Google's algorithm. It is called Google trust. The trust factor of your site plays an important role in the ranking of your site.

To give you an example of how the trust factor influences page rankings go to Google and search "make money online". What you will see are the top 10 ranked sites for this search term. At the moment I see 10 articles and none of the links go directly to the homepage of a website. Those articles are ranked higher than sites that are optimized for make money online because these are articles from sites that Google has identified as being the most trusted.

For example at the moment the top result is this article http://abcnews.go.com/Business/real-ways-make-money-online-home/story?id=17671102. This is a highly trusted site and is ranked higher than others with less trust.

What is the Trust Factor?

Google's trust factor is a combination of many factors that they use to apply a value of how trustful a site is. The more trustful a site is seen the more likely its articles will be ranked higher on specific Google searches. Some factors that make a site less trustful are that its seen as a harmful and/or has low quality content.

What Affects Trust Factor

Here are several On-Page factors that affect a websites trust factor.

- Does the site include things like Privacy Policy, Terms, and Disclosure? These things don't exactly affect the ranking, but are never the less very important. It is a good sign that the site is legitimate.

- The information on the who is register should be the same as the information in the contact us page.

- What are the lengths of each article on the site? Generally sites with longer article lengths and unique content, as well as being regularly updated, are considered more trustworthy.

- Do you have external links to trusted sources? How to find is a site trusted and should you link to it? A good sign that a site is trusted is if it is ranked well on Google search results. Of course be sure to link to trusted sites that are not exactly in your niche to avoid helping your biggest competitors. A good example would be to link to a Wikipedia site.

- Does your site have video content? More videos may increase a sites chances for higher rankings. For your own site, choose videos from Youtube.com with lots of views and high ratings. That way you will attract more people to stay on your site longer.

Off-Page Trust

If you are in the SEO game, you probably have heard this many times - get quality links. Having quality links is a great way to building a trustful image for your site. Unfortunately getting high quality links is not always easy. One way would be to create good quality content and ask others in your niche to send similar links to you. Your content would be helpful for their users and some of them any agree. Don't expect that to work immediately as building a list of great links can be a long process.

Another useful way to get high quality links is to try to find high quality blogs that accept articles. You will see that there are many blogs with high page rankings that will accept you as a writer. Of course you have to write quality content and your site has to include quality content. If your site has low quality content, they may not agree to accept you. I can give you an example with one of my sites which is about online surveys for money.I wrote several guest posts and my site immediately jumped at top 30 for one very competitive keyword - surveys for money.Then I got several blog comments and nothing happens.

Keep in mind that spamming low quality links can no longer help your sites rankings. Several years ago posting even low quality links positively affected rankings. These days if you try to post many links from low quality sites, your site can be penalized. Low quality back links can hurt your page ranking.

Additional Factors that Affect Your Trust Factor

Aside from On-page trust and Off-page trust, there are many others that affect your trust factor.

- Social media activities are important. Google now counts the number of social votes, such as Facebook likes, your site receives. The more social votes your site has, the better the ranking will be on Google. Create accounts in the top social sites and post and update regularly. This will also give your site more exposure. There are some useful tricks you can use to get more followers. You can pay someone to build a professional looking profile for you. There are many social media specialists that will be able to help you. And avoid buying fake votes. They won't help your Google ranking.

- What is the average time people stay on your site? Google counts this. Think ways to keep people more on your site for longer periods of time.

- Increase the speed of your site.

Increasing the trust factor of your site is not always easy. It can be a long process. You have to spend a good amount of time and effort to do so. Having higher trust ratings will increase your likelihood of better page rankings. Remember that Google penalizes sites that use SEO tricks to try to get higher rankings. If you have good trust factor value, then your site is seen as being trustworthy and will improve your sites reputation. Thank you for reading!

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3 Responses to “What is Trust Factor and How it Affects Your SEO”

  1. Tyler says:

    Yeah since Hummingbird has been rolling out, the top 10 for big keywords in my niche is filled with the inner pages of expired domains and pretty much all have established authorship.

    I get it, but then again what if somebody is an expert on a more specific subject? For example, if you are an expert on Google+, Authorship, and Authority for SEO, you've been a rel=author person from the beginning and you decide to start a blog about it, it will be hard to outrank even a vague article on one of the big SEO blogs.

    When the search results are filled with only pages on authority sites, the 'little guy' niche bloggers are going to have a harder time. And those types of blogs can be just as good.

    Just my 2cents

  2. Aahna says:

    Hi John,

    First of all a very Happy New Year :).

    I have a question here hope you could answer it. Let's say you have a blog and visitor comes from any source (social, or search). He read the post and spend about 5 minutes on same page, now after reading the post he leaves the blog. So I think bounce rate would be 100% and Google Analytics won't show the time spend duration as Google won't count bounce visit time.

    So in general the visitor spend 5 minutes but actually Google analytics is showing 0.00 visit duration. In other words Google counting it 0 so doesn't it affect negatively to my site trust?

  3. Mike W says:

    You can't just be concerned with one factor in your analytics report. Bounce rate is important, but it's not the only thing to worry about, and you certainly can't worry about just one visitor. a fifty percent bounce rate is average. People were looking for something, found it, and moved on.

    Guess what – your website delivered what that person was looking for. And the next time they see your domain on a SERP or SM link, they'll click again. If they spent 5 minutes on the page, they were reading and that is a good thing.

    What is on your page to lead users to other pages? Does your content contain links to related content that a user will find interesting?