How does Google determine if your website ranks on the first page? They have to trust you. If Google trusts you, then they will tell other people about your website, resulting in more traffic. Here’s the secrets of what is called “trust rank” and how to earn it.
What is Trust Rank?
Trust rank is a measure of how helpful your website is in answering questions and providing specific information on a topic or industry. It is a combination of smaller ranking factors (found below) that add up to Google trusting your website for the best answers.
Why is Trust Rank Important?
When Google trusts you, you get all the benefits that go along with it. Google wants it to be clear if your site belong to a good neighborhood or bad neighborhood and specifically what industry you belong to.
Reap these trust benefits:
- Get more traffic to your site
- Rank higher on search results
- Get natural backlinks to your site
- Link with other high authority blogs
- Be a part of an online community
Trusted by Google:
A website that sells brownies and blogs weekly about recipes, tips, and new flavor combinations that link to other prominent foodie sites online with optimized pictures and longer articles with active weekly social media posts.
Not Trusted by Google:
A static brownie website that does not introduce any new content or link to any other related websites with short and old articles and no social media accounts or posts and low quality illegal pictures copied off Google images.
If you cheat on your wife, you lose trust and have to earn it back. Same with Google – get a penalty from a Google violation and it’s much harder to recover than if you never cheated at all. Assuming that you are a faithful partner, these top ranking factors are the next step after you have fully optimized your website for both search engines and humans.
Top Trust Rank Factors
Try out these techniques to build trust on your website.
- Trusted Links ex: obtain links from high page rank sites like msnbc.com
- Big Time Branding ex: making your small brand look bigger online
- Trusted Domain ex: buy a 5 year domain instead of 1 year at a time
- Google News Backlinks ex: link to these “Google approved” sites
- High CTR (click through rate) ex: 20 out of 100 people clicked on your site from Google
Steps To Build Trust Rank
Now that you know what trust rank is and why it’s important, let’s work on actionable methods to increase trust rank. When you improve trust rank on your website, both Google and real people will be able to use your information to gain valuable and useful information.
This is the most important one. When a site links to you, they transfer part of their “trust” to your site.Big websites like CNN.com have many sites ranking to them. They are considered a “seed site” which just means they are very trusted by search engines and real people. Think of the 5 people in your life you trust the most. When you ask them for advice, you trust their advice more than someone you met yesterday.
If you want to get to the next level of backlinking, take a look at the site’s link profile to see if it’s worth it before you try for weeks or months to get a backlink from them.
Here’s some examples from Backlinko.com.
On-Page SEO Ranking Factors
- Link to high authority sites – not your friend’s blog (unless he has 10,000+ followers and great content related to your site). Think of high authority sites like your group of friends. The sites you choose to link reflect your site. Don’t link to that embarrassing friend from 2nd grade you see once per year.
- Bouce Rate – User interaction is a huge part of why you rank (or don’t rank) on Google. If people bounce, as in visit only 1 page on your site and leave, then it’s considered low quality. Tip: Check Google Analytics weekly and especially look if you can filter out spam referral traffic to get a true bounce rate.
- Sourcing Your Content - Go back to your college days and actually give sources and references at the bottom of your pages or articles. It demonstrates good research for humans and for serach engines which is rare on the internet these days.
Big Time Branding
- Create 1500 words on your about page. You can combine the home page and about page for a more streamlined look for your navigation bar.
- Social Media – Stay active on your accounts so that you do not look closed. You don’t want to just add buttons to your website to look pretty. Post a minimum of every 21 days on each social media site or delete it.
- Brand Name Anchor Text – If people link to your brand they will most likely link to yourbrand.com or “your brand”. This is great for Google recognizing you are a brand.
- If your brand is trusted by Google, you will get the privilege of “site link” in the search results. You may even have a search bar. If you Great example below:
- The Long Run – Make sure you register your domain page from your host for at least 2 years. This has much speculation in the SEO community surrounding this topic but it really can’t hurt your site. Plus, most hosts let you can cancel at any time so go for 5 years.
- Be transparent – put your real business address on your website to build trust. Real address and phone number or contact information is a signal to Google that you are real. Make sure you have a separate contact page.
Google News Backlinks
Real people at Google sift through the article submissions to Google News! These select articles have a ton of trust. IF you search for the best gelato in New York, someone somewhere will include a Frozen Yogurt shop on their blog. The hand picked articles give the best results.
A high CTR stands for Click Through Rate. When you show up in search results, how many times does someone click on your result? Google trusts sites with high CTR. If you have a 1-2% CTR, that is considered good. Any more than that is excellent. It makes sense; if you are the #1 result on Google and no one ever clicks on it, Google won’t trust your page has good content.
If you show up for “cute dogs near me” 100 times and 2 people clicked on your search result, that may seem like a small number but it is considered excellent because it is a targeted 2 people that are looking for exactly that and agreed to what you promised in your search title and description. The chances that they convert into a sale is high compared to randomly mailing out flyers to everyone in town.