When it comes to the various mechanics and ranking signals of Google, trust is one of the most important aspects the search engine looks out for. After all, Google's main objective is to provides its users with the most relevant and user-friendly search results.
In this article, we will explore the various methods and elements to consider in order to ensure your website is optimised towards Google's core ranking factors.
What is Google TrustRank?
To put it in simplistic terms, Google TrustRank simply acts as a filter which Google uses to evaluate core ranking factors such as links and content, in order to identify what users should and shouldn’t trust within the SERPs.
If your TrustRank score is low, this could mean that either your signals are not legitimate, for example you have a ‘http’ domain rather than a ‘https’, or that your website is blocked – therefore negatively impacting your ranking on any search engine result pages.
Is it possible to measure my TrustRank score?
Nearly. Using Moz’s new tool called MozTrust you can measure the global link trust score.
The E-A-T update was unleashed upon the SEO community by Google early last year, and like most algorithm changes, this saw thousands of websites see immediate drops in rankings within SERPs.
Initially, it wasn't entirely clear what was causing the decline in organic rankings; however, after a month of research, experts found that Google was essentially punishing websites which lacked quality, which was measured by expertise, authority and trustworthiness (E-A-T).
In order to be measured highly for expertise, your website will need to meet and exceed the needs of the majority of your site visitors. This can be achieved by communicating with your consumers in a way that positions yourselves as experts in the field you are promoting via your website.
Authority is valued in relation to the number of experts or influencers within your vertical that are using your website as a trusted source of information.
Some would say this is the most vital element to perfect. In order to establish trust within the SERP you need to make sure you're satisfying your customers, whether that is through addressing complaints, replying to comments or proactively engaging with your audience - this will show your customers you care about them and begin to establish a level of trust.
Gaining Google’s trust
Quality of backlinks
One way to improve your Google TrustRank is through the number of quality backlinks you have, as this will show Google that, aside from direct users, your website has been recognised by third-party websites too. And you can increase the number of backlinks your website has, by ensuring your website has a high domain authority and credibility.
However, it's important to be wary of backlinks coming from websites which are not relevant to your industry or are poorly optimised, as Google will view this as untrustworthy.
Use of trust pages
When Google is rapidly crawling, indexing and ranking your site, it will take into account every single aspect - including the types of pages that instil trust within the SERP.
The pages that are most likely to instil trust for your website include:
- About us - This page needs to display to Google and your users exactly what your business and website do.
- Contact - It's important to ensure this page includes your NAP data (name, address and phone number).
In addition to optimising your trust pages, it's also equally important to ensure each page within your website provides consistent information, such as your contact information, as Google will rank your trust low if it finds discrepancies.
The security of your website is extremely important, especially if you're an ecommerce website, and with Google flagging HTTP sites as 'not secure' it's advisable to migrate your website to HTTPS - if you haven't already.
An older domain is generally considered better; this is because it conveys the longevity of your website to Google, and there is also more uncertainty around what younger websites will be able to offer - which often takes a while for Google to establish.
How is the domain age measured?
There are two factors which are taken into consideration when determining your domain age; the length of time a domain has been registered for, and how long it has been active for.
An active website reassures Google that you are here to stay and is probably one of the best ways to display trust signals. The most effective way of showing high activity is by including the addition of a blog to your website.
The benefit of implementing a blog on your website is that Google is notified every time you post on the blog, which provides another method of reach for your content. Additionally, you can increase user interaction across your blog by adding the ability for readers to comment on them, and regular engagement with user comments can reaffirm this.
Further to this, you can also utilise social media platforms to increase your website activity by adding links back to your website within your social content including calls-to-action that prompt user engagement.
We can certainly expect to see more algorithm updates launched by Google in the near future which will be based upon trust, particularly taking more factors into consideration, such as NAP data being consistent throughout all platforms and site architecture. For this reason, it's imperative that you make sure your website's trust flow score is being regularly reviewed in line with SERP updates, to ensure it doesn't prove a hindrance to your site performance.
To find out more about Croud or our SEO services, get in touch.