Google TrustRank: The Definitive Guide

In this guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about Google TrustRank.

What it is.

How it works.

(And most important of all) how to get it.

Let’s dive right in.

What is Google TrustRank?

Google TrustRank helps Google and other search engines combat web spam. Specifically, TrustRank measures so-called “trust signals”. These trust signals help them evaluate whether or not core ranking signals (like links and content) are legitimate.

Even though TrustRank was initially created by Yahoo! and Stanford engineers, Google has revealed that they also use TrustRank in their algorithm.

For example, they filed a patent for: “A search engine system provides search results that are ranked according to a measure of the trust…”

trustrank patent

Google has also made official statements like:

“So PageRank is the most well known type of trust. It’s looking at links and how important those links are.

So if you have a lot of very high quality links, then you tend to earn a lot of trust with Google. There’s over 200 different signals that we use in our ranking.

But you can kind of break them down into this notion of trust and how well you match a particular query. We use several words – reputation, trust, authority.”

In other words: Google upranks websites that they trust. And they measure that trust in their algorithm with TrustRank.

But how does TrustRank actually work?

That leads us to our next section…

How TrustRank Works

I’ll go into a lot more detail on this works soon.

But you can look at TrustRank like a filter.

If Google sees your links and content as trustworthy, they pass the filter.

But if your TrustRank is low, these signals are seen as not legitimate…and are blocked.

Needless to say, you want Google to see your site as a trustworthy resource. If not, your rankings are going to suffer… big time.

Can you Measure TrustRank?

Short answer: kind of.

Longer answer:

Moz has developed a metric called “MozTrust“.

moztrust

MozTrust is the closet thing we have to measuring TrustRank directly.

It’s not perfect. But it’s a helpful starting point.

For example, here’s my MozTrust:

moztrust number

1 means that that your links are almost 100% spam. 10/10 would be a site like Harvard.edu. So 6.09 is actually pretty good.

With that, it’s time for me to show you how to maximize your site’s TrustRank…

Step #1: On-Page Trust Optimization

Here’s how to generate on-page trust for your site.

1. Link Out to Authority Sites: I know you’ve seen those lame paper-thin affiliate sites in Google.

Did you ever notice that they NEVER link out to other sites?

Can you say red flag?

But look at any REAL site, like The Huffington Post or NYTimes.com: they’re linking out to sites left and right!

And so should you. Linking out is a fundamental on-page SEO strategy.

Plus, one well-done industry study found a correlation between linking out and higher Google rankings:

outbound link study

Keep in mind that the sites that you link to reflect on your site

…so spread the link love to .edu, .gov and authority sites early and often.

2. Privacy Notice, Terms: Make sure your site has a thorough privacy notice, terms of use and/or affiliate disclosure. These are “boring” pages that Google pays attention to.

After all, all Adsense publishers are required to have this info on their site, which tells me that Big G thinks it’s important.

3. Bounces and Blocked Sites: Google’s RankBrain algorithm now takes into account user interaction is a ranking factor.

In fact, Google even gone as far as to consider how many Chrome users block your site.

google using chrome blocked sites

You can imagine how shady a site must be for people to actually block the entire site.

And the same goes for sites with high bounce rate: if your site provides trustworthy information why is everyone in such a rush to leave?

So make sure you keep an eye in your bounce rate and “time on page” in Google Analytics.

user experience signals

Then, do what you can to keep people sticking to your site like superglue.

4. References and Sources: Consider having a list of sources and references at the end of certain articles.

references section

This shows Google that your content is well-researched (and therefore most trustworthy).

Step#2: Look and Act Like a Big Brand

Google has been VERY big on brands lately.

How can you, some guy banging out WordPress sites in his underwear, possibly look like a big brand?

(Even if you are just some guy banging out WordPress sites in his underwear).

Easy. Build brand signals.

Remember: Google is just a site ranking machine (also known as an algorithm).

Google doesn’t know that Pepsi is a brand because it saw their Super Bowl commercial last year. They identify brands from online brand signals.

And they take brands VERY seriously because they trust brands.

In fact, here’s what Google CEO Eric Schmidt has this to say about brands:

“Brands are the solution, not the problem… brands are how you sort out the cesspool.”

Here’s how to step out the cesspool, take a long shower, and look like a big bad brand:

1. Branded Domain/Site Name: Forget exact match or phrase match domains. The EMD update made it very clear that exact match domains don’t do jack. Instead of MostComfortableMaleThongsX.com, go for ComfyThongs.com.

Rocking a branded domain sends the message that you’re a unique brand…not some SEO-obsessed loser trying to rank for one keyword.

2. Thorough About Us Page: Don’t skimp on your about page.

Real brands have MASSIVE about pages that talks about their company, mission statement, etc. Make an epic about us page that tells your story.

3. Active Social Media Accounts: All big brands are super-active on social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the like. Even if you run tiny site, get your social accounts rocking and rolling.

4. Branded Searches in Google: People search for brands, whether it be Ikea, YouTube or John Deere. You know that Google considers you a brand when you get sitelinks, like this:

sitelinks

But you don’t have to be on the Fortune 500 to get the brand treatment.

Sitelinks appear when you build killer backlinks AND get people to search for your brand in Google.

How do you do that, you ask?

The simple answer: create an awesome site πŸ™‚

5. Brand Name Anchor Text: People naturally link to brands with brand name anchor text. So if your site is Thongs4Less.com, you better get some links with the anchor text: “Thongs 4 Less”.

Step#3: Trustworthy Domain Info

Did you know that Google is a domain registrar?

But they don’t sell domains.

Weird right?

The reason they went through the trouble was to spy on your whois info. You see, when you’re an ICANN-approved registrar you can check whois information all day long, unlike us mere mortals.

Here’s what you can do to get more trust from your domain info:

  • Register your domain for 2+ Years: Google wants to see that you’re in this for the long haul. Although the influence of domain registration in SEO has been debated to death, it’s something that can’t possibly hurt you and might help you…so go for it. I personally register my domains for 5+ years.
  • Make it public: No real company has private whois (check if you don’t believe me). Make sure that the address is real or this can backfire.
  • Put whois info on your contact us page: To really show Google I’m all about transparency and openness, I usually put my whois address and phone on my contact or privacy notice page. This is a another brand signal. Posting your address tells Google that you have an “office” somewhere (even if your office is your mom’s basement).

Individually, these may seem like tiny things, but look at it this way:

Which site seems more trustworthy to you?

Site #1: Private whois and no contact page that’s expiring in 3-months.

Site #2: Real address and phone number that matches their site’s official contact info…AND has 5 more years before the domain expires?

Thought so.

Step#4: Trusted Links

And here’s the big one. Like everything in the Google universe, trust revolves around links.

And they do it based on an SEO version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

The trust you get from other sites is often referred to as TrustRank.

Here’s how it works:

Trusted Links

Basically, there are a group of highly-trusted “seed sites”, such as .govs, .edus, NYTimes.com etc.

Google hand picks these sites and gives them a 10/10 TrustRank.

Obviously, getting links directly from these sites is best.

That said…

You can still get some of that trust by getting links from sites that have links from seed sites.

Or put another way:

Harvard.edu –> your site= best case scenario

Harvard.edu –>some other site –> your site = not too shabby

Harvard.edu –>some other site –>–>some other site –>–>some other site –>–>some other site –>–>some other site –>–>some other site –>–>some other site –>your site =not good

That’s why you should ALWAYS look at another site’s link profile before taking the time to get a link from them.

In fact, I focus a lot of my link building efforts on getting links directly from “seed sites”… or sites that have links from seed sites.

In my experience, these sites rank better AND are much more durable to updates.

Bottom line? You want the sites that link to you to be highly trusted sites.

Step#5: Google News Site Backlinks

In the eyes of Big G, Google News approved sites are some of the most trusted sites in the internet.

Think about it: news sites have to be trustworthy.

If you’re searching for “best rappers of all time” it’s possible that some guy will include Vanilla Ice on his list.

But news sites are held to a higher standard because their content has to be spot on.

If they post an article with the headline: “Justin Bieber Elected President of Ecuador”, then it better be true.

For a site to be included in Google News, they have to undergo a rigorous manual review before getting in (fun fact: I once submitted a site to Google News and was rejected).

That lends them a lot of trust in the eyes of big G.

The thing is, getting a real link from a Google News approved site isn’t easy.

You have to create something newsworthy… then promote it.

For example, I recently did a giant study of Google’s ranking signals.

search engine ranking factors study

Because that content contained something worth reporting on, several news sites wrote about it (and linked to the study):

forbes link

(That’s a link from Forbes. Needless to say, that’s a highly trusted site)

And those links significantly boosted my TrustRank.

Now I’d Like to Hear From You

Now that you’ve read all about TrustRank, I’d like to hear what you have to say.

Have you tried to optimize your site for trust?

If so, how did it go?

Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

273 Comments

  1. Good grief! I am so looking forward to getting this report now! If looking at it from a meat and potatoes point of view; potatoes being what you give away free on your blog, meat being the stuff you charge for… I can’t wait to see what kind of stuff you start selling. Most of what you’ve included so far would have been in someone else’s paid ebook. Surely you’ve got some tasty β€œWagyu” beef steak information lined up?!

    1. Thanks for your support Tim and I hope you enjoy the report.

      Dude, my potatoes are just the appetizer. I’m working on the meat right now, and not to brag (Ok maybe to brag a little),
      but it’s gonna be some Grade A Kobe beef stuff. Get ready.

      1. First of all and most importantly, I love Kobe beef πŸ™‚

        Secondly, thank you for this post. It really opened my eyes. I suppose with 2-3 years of internet business under my belt, I’m still a newbie and can imagine it shows… However, I work with a very passionate community who has helped music producers get an extra (and unexpected) source of income to allow them to actively enjoy their creative process of producing great music.

        SEO is something very new to us in general and it’s a real head-f**k getting to terms with what to do and what not. We have our own blog and post tips and tricks for DJs trying to push their career, so we put a lot of whatever time is spare in creating content, in the hope that original and quality (we are always improving thanks to posts like yours) content in the end will win.

        Sorry for this longwinded story, but I simply wanted to convey that your post has helped us improve our blog structure and that means a lot. So thank you Brian and any tips you have, please keep them coming.

        1. … actually, a question just popped in and I wanted to quickly ask… You mentioned at the end of a blog, it’s wise to cite external links to website. Should these be rel=follow, or nofollow? Does it matter from our perspective?

          thanks for your help and no worries if you have better things to do πŸ™‚

          1. David, They should be rel=follow links. You want to give credit where it’s due. Plus, I’ve been adding more outbound links to existing content with great results. It’s not true testing (it’s an N of 1), but I’m giving readers information they want and sometimes that’s sending them to other sites to read more.

            I’m interested in hearing from Brian, too…

  2. One of the more thorough SEO posts I have read since Penguin and I will be working on a lot of these recommendations over the next couple of weeks. It makes a lot of sense, thank you!

  3. Thank you! I was hit rather hard by penguin and haven’t really recovered. I’ve tried changing a few things that I read about but haven’t seen much of a result.

    It’s baffled me because I write unique content, some of which is long and “epic”. My links are for the most part natural (I haven’t gone out of my way to gather my own links except for may be a dozen articles in directories and about the very occasional blog/forum comment).

    I also am a staff writer for the 3rd most influential site in my niche (photography) and have direct links from my articles to my site. Still I rank poorly for most terms.

    I used to appear as a “brand” like in your example in Google search but not for months now!

    I’m going to implement all of your suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Rachael

    1. Hey Rachael,

      There were a lot of legit, 100% white hat owners like you that found themselves caught in the Penguin filter. In my opinion, that update was meant to send a message…not necessarily clean up the SERPs.

      In other words, they don’t care if there were a few false positives as long as they scared the bejeezus out of the SEO community.

      If you’re serious about recovering from Penguin you may have to go all-out. That means following the steps outlined in this post and cleaning up any links that look fishy. Even then there aren’t any guarantees.

    1. Thanks Dom!

      It’s still on the grill. πŸ™‚

      Should be up and running in in about 2-weeks. I’ll send a message to my list when it goes live.

    1. Hi Sy. There’s no “official” place to check TrustRank. The best two metrics I’ve found are Majestic Trustflow and MozTrust.

  4. Wow Brian I’ve found you searching how one can build legit backlinks that will last and found YOU on google. I’ve read your free report too and i’ve already started to work on it so we’ll see.

    What you’ve mentioned in this post so far i already have on the niche website I am runing at the moment. I like to know if you can reccomend any tips for how to get those Google News backlinks as i’ve already checked and the are very stricted in leaving any comment links or so, of course as you said: if for them is hard to be in google news how can someone get backlink from them.
    Cheers

    1. Found me from searching? It sounds like that SEO stuff everyone’s talking about actually works :-). Besides press releases, there aren’t any easy ways to get links from Google News sites. If you can position yourself as an expert in your niche, sites like HARO can help you build relationships with journalists. Otherwise you’ll need to tap into old-fashioned PR.

  5. Hi Brian, thanks for this info. It’s awesome! And thanks for a response to my email and my questions, and to be honest with you, I was surprised when I saw your asnwer :).
    Also after reading through your blog, I realized I was missing some major points in both On and Off-page SEO. I’ll give my best in using your recommendations and I’ll get back to you with the result.
    Cheers

  6. Great post that delivers the message in an easy understandable way.
    Im lucky enough to have access to a tool that analyzes power + trust. Otherwise it would be hard to analyze the link profiles.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Matt. You’re right: I see a lot of people in SEO run before they can walk. For example, I’ve seen people use Buzzstream to do outreach for a poorly designed site with mediocre content. It’s not going to work without the proper foundation.

      You need to get the basics right (design, content, UX, branding etc.) if you want to do well with SEO.

  7. Google dont seems to recognize my at all but the post has really one a long way to enlighten me more. Indeed, trust is the key!
    Thanks for sharing…I really appreciate!

  8. Wow impressive thinking it’s deep but true. My question is if you have already seen the google drop how can you rebuild your rep? I feel like it could be time to tear down and start over. Do you consult or do work on the side my friend?

    1. Nice to hear from you, Chris.

      Recovering from a drop is a tough thing to do because there are so many potential reasons behind the drop. As you said, it sometimes makes more sense to start from scratch. I do some consulting, but I’m actually booked until 2014.

  9. link hops? does this apply to subdomains too?
    You didn’t mention how your website reacts on mobile phones. If it has slow loading time , it is a negative too. I just got 4 main sites on a responsive design (static) and added a blog.

  10. a Real eyeopener, thanks, but hey. Why can’t I find a Date on this site? Is there a reason? It’s just because I don’t know if this article is something new or If I should already know this…

    1. Glad you learned something new, Marc. I don’t date posts because I don’t want people to think the content isn’t relevant because it’s a year or two old. I update everything on here regularly so it’s fresh and up-to-date.

  11. Brian,
    Found this post in the SE and love your practical and helpful advice. Sometimes everyone seems to have an opinion, but no one can actually give practical tips and ideas to succeed. I appreciate your thoughts and your take on this!

    1. Thanks James. You’re right: the SEO world is (unfortunately) full of people that have a hundred opinions but not one practical piece of advice. Glad I could help you out πŸ™‚

  12. Hi Brian, just been looking over your site these past few days picking up some great info. I love the way you really expand on SEO myths and concepts taking them to the next level with some clear guidance and insight. Keep up the good work. Nick

  13. I just thought of a question. After reading your article, I’m thinking it may not be a good idea to buy an expired domain name (I read about this technique in another one of your great posts). What if these are not trusted sites? Do you think that matters or is it just better than starting from scratch?

    1. Good question, Mike. If you’re going to buy an expired domain you want to make sure it’s trusted and brandable. If the domain name doesn’t make sense for your site and brand then you’re better off starting off with a fresh domain name.

  14. Great bit of info here. I am SLOWLY moving up the serps, but as an amateur, its difficult to know which way to turn. Its a bit terrifying because a wrong link or two could spell disaster. Thanks for the insights!

  15. Thanks for this post. My confusions regarding the concept of Trust Rank were cleared by this very well written post.
    And of-course the Penguin update explanation was superb. You have another follower.. πŸ™‚

  16. Brian this is awesome piece of work, now i have a better understanding about the google search engine and also know little bit more how to avoid google penalties. Thanks a lot man for this wonderful article. I will be back very soon to consume more from you

  17. Really true.
    On the contact us page of my website I have put different address than the whois address on my domain name. Can you guess what happen? He put my website on page 15.

  18. I usually avoid to have outbound links into my posts, but you article does make a lot of sense. But I think in everything you do it must be a fair balance.

    For example, if your blog has a lot of outbound links (to authoritative websites) and no inbound links from .gov .edu and so on websites, wouldn’t that negatively affect your website SEO?

    1. You’re right: Bogdan. It’s a balance. But in general, you at least want some outbound links on your site or else your site doesn’t appear to be a legit member of the web.

  19. its not often that i spend 20 mins of my life reading an article from end to end! I think your correct about the penguin update.. we all (me included ) jumped on the anchor text issues.. ive been wondering why walmart hits for our keywords, just for the mention of the fact that that particular item is NOT included! brands brands brands… its obviously really about trust.. it just had not solidified properly.. i think i will get the tattoo , as suggested on my head… thank you for taking the time to write such a well informed article..

  20. Wow, great post. OK,
    I have a site that is similar to Shopzilla except I also include more detailed product pages from Amazon. It is a computer generated site. It did well enough for the first few weeks then all of a sudden it dropped right off the search results. I have done all the things you have recommended except getting into Google news. Let’s see what happens. I can’t hurt anyways.

  21. I think if you follow some of the basic principles it is possible to recover a site from a google drop. But, the advice in this article is gold. I apply this advice to all my sites now to greater successes.

    1. Thanks Jakob. It’s something I do with my web properties, not Backlinko. Fortunately, this site is big enough where I rather not share my apartment # with the world πŸ˜€

  22. Thanks for all of this information. As I am working AND working on my website myself, I am limited for time so posts like yours with direct pointers are extremely helpful.

    1. That’s what I do, Jerry: help business owners like you get more traffic so you can focus on building your business.

  23. Dang! How do you do it Brian? You must be paying a ton of people to research, surf, dig deep and read a ton of other articles, blogs etc….To come up with some of the best SEO posts anyone has ever written!

    1. You’re welcome, Janet. In my opinion, they don’t. I consider nofollow links the same as a text-based mention in terms of SEO.

  24. G’day Brain,
    I learned a heap from reading this, like you said, SEO people are all telling me the same stuff! It;s good to learn something they aren’t telling, or they simply dont know themselves.
    Cheers mate!
    Damo

  25. Mate you put so much research into your posts, it’s a killer article. Well done.
    Definitely have to target brand names for long term results, I couldn’t agree more.

  26. Great website. I’ve actually decided to spend my Saturday reading all 22 of your blog posts (yes, I counted them).

    On a side note, the Contact Page link at the bottom of your About page links to contact-2 (empty page), rather than contact.

    Cheers.

    1. Thanks Terry. That’s very true: each of these strategies has a tiny influence on rankings…but they add up!

  27. Hey Brian,
    The post is insightful, and definitely helpful. But there’s a problem. There are certain sites out there that have a special, dedicated measure called TrustRank. For instance, Trust Directory Project accepts sites with a TrustRank value of at least 3.
    What exactly is that? Your post didn’t seem to suggest anything about the specific algorithm but it is good enough to have a Wikipedia entry.

  28. Hey Brian this was a very informative article about backlinking which showed me that I have just been doing things wrong. I am just wondering what is your opinion on micro niche sites that want to rank high on google. Trust is indeed hard to get on these microniche sites. So you are saying websites with a .blogspot or .wordpress ending are not going to rank high?

  29. One of my website has 4.88 moztrust but 0 PR. πŸ™
    However it ranks on page 1 for 5-6 keywords. Now I will try some techniques from your post to bring rest of the keywords on first page.
    Thanks for sharing this great info with us.

  30. Give me a break.
    My site has zillions of trusted government links and “trusted” domain links, yet my pages have been falling like a rock due to the fact that I don’t get huge traffic.
    Google now ranks high traffic sites at the top and the low traffic sites with great content no longer get hits on those key “money key words” .
    On many searches they list the same domain duplicate times, pushing your pages WAY down their pages. For example if you search for “GIS Jobs” you will get the indeed domain listed many times. Why does Google do this when the user can find the other jobs on indeed for themselves. The answer is these are high traffic domains packed with Google ads and they want them listed and showing on top as many times as they can!
    Google is now playing God by picking the winners and losers before John Q Public gets a chance to. I still rank fine in Yahoo and Bing since they still care about content over traffic.
    These are the cold hard facts in the World of Google today. They ONLY care about Adsense click$. Lots of them! Maybe that is why Matt Cutts took leave and nobody wants to replace him. Somebody needs to declare shenanigans on Google!

  31. I have a site that sale seo content and help people rank, but this articles just open up my mind and realize what I done in the past is wrong. Thank you for sharing this great info.

  32. Thanks Brian, I think I need to read this many times to fully comprehend how to implement your suggestions but even for me (layperson who has little idea what he is doing re SEO) this stuff makes sense. I appreciate you spelling it out for us. I I have had page 1 position 1 for my keywords in the past but now have disappeared into the abyss, and I can see now perhaps why, thanks Anton

  33. Great article. Learn something new about anchored text links. Hope this will help improve my rankings by using more words that just my exact keyword in backlinking.

  34. After spending a lot of time! building a lot link, in fact huge lets say hundreds, thousand! using new strategy etc. and etc! but my traffic still suck! and Big G still doesnt trust my smal site, I can tell from traffic, because I get ranki in first page, and second page! and also I write oroginal article! and I said! WTF! I know I am missing this! I can tell, because I already test, this kind of strategy but unfortunately I forgot! πŸ˜€ anyway, thank you so much for remind me πŸ˜› hehehehe. good post bro! very good postt! you rock man! πŸ˜€

  35. Brian,
    My site has some trusted sites link to it that are outside of my niche. Is that going to hurt me to have trusted sites but they are outside my niche?
    Thanks! Jim

    1. Jim, you definitely want most of your links from sites in your niche. But it’s OK and normal to have quite a few links from unrelated sites.

  36. Brian,
    This post cooked my brain! LOL! Way to GO!!! Interesting. If i am hearing you right you are saying that niche has less of a factor than trust. So i could get all sorts of high trust websites to tell about my site (like testimonials) and just because they have rep google will like me. So it doesn’t have to do with niche that is on page SEO as long as solid sites link to me? I am thinking like on HARO they are good sites but way outside my niche. Wont it hurt me if they aren’t in my niche?
    Jim

  37. I’ve recently started frequenting your website, Dean. You’ve got some seriously good stuff on here. You’re a natural, obviously. Will be back for more! πŸ˜€

  38. Wiked article! this has really helped, I’m working hard to get my head around SEO and the constant changes and updates as to what is right and what is wrong, there is just so much misinformation out there it’s hard to keep up! Do you offer any kind of training courses on the subject of SEO and linking?

    1. Thanks Ria. I hear you, there’s A LOT of conflicting/confusing SEO info out there.
      I actually sell a premium training program called SEO That Works. Registration will open up again in a few weeks.
      Hop on the newsletter so you don’t miss the invite.

  39. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a while. I am a HUGE believer in building a brand, as opposed to building a keyword stuffed, awkward domain that is easily forgettable. When I created my site, my main focus on branding my site and providing the best quality information and resources possible. In other words, nothing was more important to me nor is as important to me still, as earning trust with my visitors. However, I haven’t really thought about how this will translate into trust from Google. Sure, I have implemented some of the strategies you mentioned above, but obviously there is much more I can be doing. The most interesting point that stuck out for me was linking OUT to authority sites. I have focused on internal linking, I have some affiliate links and back links from blogs and forums, but I need to start flat out sharing some quality relevant content from the authority sites. News sites, as you mentioned and also authorities specifically within my niche. I have bookmarked this post and look forward to utilizing your advice. Thanks for sharing, I’ll be back, man!

    1. Thanks Howie. I couldn’t have said it better myself: building a brand is one of the best ways to make your site update proof.

  40. Great post. Reminded me of a lot of things I forgot about, and those will be helpful in the upcoming Advanced Link Training seminar I’m teaching later this month.
    Only one issue or update in the post: Google is actually a registrar and they DO sell domains now. See Google.com/domains you have to have an invite, but I’ve already transferred a few domains over there.

  41. That trustrank algorithm that uses seedsites and all, that Moztrust is based upon is based upon Yahoo’s Trustrank Algorithm, which has nothing to do with Google. πŸ™

    1. Fair points Andres. As a former lab scientist, I’ve learned there’s no such thing as empirical evidence in SEO as we can never control all of the variables. Correlation is the best we’ve got πŸ™‚

  42. Great information. I read thru the entire post and found some new interesting information. There’s always so much chatter online about SEO, what works and what doesn’t. Got some new ideas I’ll try out for sure. Thanks!

  43. Got killed by panda – mis-lead by crappy SEO companies. I’m trying to recover and glad to find this page. Signed up for the news letters…Tks Chip

  44. Correct me if I’m wrong Brian but, wasn’t Yahoo the one who “invented” TrustRank?
    I cannot find any reference on Google saying they use that, or a variation of, TrustRank. Am I wrong? Could you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!

  45. So long I suspect that google linking has more to do with Trust and Citation flow then back links. The thinks that I didn’t know was that this soo boring pages as About us, Contact is so important

  46. Brian, I’m new to your site but it has been a life-saver. We got hit hard by Penguin (we’re a legitimate, even government-licensed company) and we’re fighting hard to move forward. I’ve already implemented so many of your suggestions and we’re working HARO like crazy for a shot at one of the big guys. Keep up the great work, I’ll be following you avidly.

  47. The part about using legitimate contact details confuses me, how does an ffiliate marketer with a dozen websites do this, if Google is checking whois, then they will see that Joe Blow has a dozen websites. is it advisable to register every domain with different contact information… could you please shed some light on this

    Thanks

    1. Pat, the answer is not to have a dozen websites. I recommend focusing on one (or at the most) two amazing sites. Even if you’re an affiliate marketer.

  48. Hay Brian,
    The BS from Google keeps going. This year I saw people blogging from years a go dumped there work and closed their blogs. I know it is not a BS for you because it is your work field and the worse it gets the better lol. Here is a funny story, one of these people who closed his blog his keywords start ranking after he shut down lol. As such criteria exist for ranking Google should be clear with webmasters about it. I call it BS because not everyone need to be SEO to rank. Great article!

  49. Brian,
    You’ve shared some great information here. With the last google update all my sites rankings have dropped and now I’m paranoid with every step I take.

    As I live in Australia, most my domains are .com.au and to register a .com.au domain you need to put it under your business. Each business has a unique Australian Business Number and you register the domains using your unique number. Now what got me worried is Google blacklisted my Australian Business Number and every website I make don’t rank very well. The last website I created is no where to be even found on Google. Do you think Google might be using this as a ranking factor?

    Keep up the good work!

    Cheers,
    Adam.

      1. Thanks Brian, if you were in my shoes, would you create a new website from scratch with different Australian Business Number or just stick with the same website, put in all you have to try and make it a killer authoritative website using your methods? I’m just really lost as I don’t want to waste my time trying to rank a website that’s never going to be successful.

        Your help is appreciated!

  50. Hey Brian, another phenomenal post! One thing that struck me in particular: I had no idea that there are companies who would try and knock off a competitor’s site using sleazy spam tactics. I’ve been doing SEO for years and never once thought of using such underhanded methods. Maybe you should write a post sometime about dirty SEO tricks and how to defend yourself against them. Just don’t forget to mention that the post was my idea πŸ™‚

    1. Hey David, unfortunately it’s actually a big issue in the SEO world. In my experience the best offense is a good defense. Namely a site with a strong, trustworthy link profile.

  51. Brian, one more observation regarding Step#5: Google News Site Backlinks: I notice that a site named http://www.prweb.com is on Google News and they offer press releases for as little as $99. And they appear to be very indiscriminate in what they publish (i.e., anything as long as you pay). What kind of juice does that kind of link provide? Is it a good SEO investment?

  52. After some years not thinking about SEO, I wanted to update myself on the changes in the industry. This is by far the best, most clear and thorough explanation I’ve seen on the subject in many years. Thanks Brian.

  53. Very good info mate. I always hide Whois of my sites. Never thought it has importance in Google eyes, Will make it open. I am a regular follower of your posts, Thanks for sharing valuable info.

  54. Brian, If I could, I would remove all other “Google+ Seo” related articles from google search results and leave yours only. The best informative reading on net! Thanks a lot.

  55. Hi Brian,
    Great article! We are currently working on implementing some of the points that you bring up. Any suggestions on how to link out to trusted high authority sites when you are a B2B site?
    Thanks

  56. Very interesting, added myself to your aweber-list and downloaded this as .pdf, but I actually have a question:

    Do you have any trust-related information regarding http vs https?

    Looking forward to hear back from you!

    Cheers

  57. I am new to the world of web development and I really struggle a lot with search engine optimization of my site . This tutorial was really helpful for me to understand the basic of search engine optimization.

  58. Hey…thanks for the post here…

    Do you feel one should make most or all testimonial or client portfolio links back to their sites “no follow” unless there are unique reasons to not make the links “no follow”? What is your general feeling on this and why?

    πŸ™‚

  59. Oh…also, is there a specific way to tell search engines that the whois record and domain length has been updated?

  60. This is the best post about Trust Rank which I read evertime. Only 1st step has a lot of advise, so if i do all step my page will be realy trusted in Googles eyes.

  61. Thanks for the insight – interesting way to approach the conceptual framework of SEO. As you say, its not all about PageRank or some other metric – those are ways Google measure’s relevance/trustworthiness, and over time their relevance will likely change so pursuing them in and of themselves is probably not a winning strategy.

  62. Brian – it’s worthwhile SEO information! As others have called it out, many package and sell much less relevant SEO info as eBooks. Thanks for providing free info.

  63. Great info Brian (as always) πŸ™‚ !

    Re: Domain Registration Privacy

    Do you think G looks at Whois details to establish an administrative relationship between linking sites ?
    If so, since im creating a separate site of curated content relating to my primary/target sites niche and then linking back to the primary site from it for contextual link benefit (amongst other benefits)….then should i have whois privacy turned on so G doesnt see an administrative relationship between the two sites and hence devalue the link due to admin relationship OR better to be transparent and just use/show same admin details for both sites. Or do you think Google just considers sites on same hosts (rather than whois details) to establish an admin relationship between them. In which case since the sites im talking about are hosted on different hosts, shouldnt be an issues to be transparent with who is data if they are the same in both cases ?

    Many thanks
    Dan

  64. For every site I am trying to rank for “exact match” domains are the ones on page 1 – ALWAYS. Every site I look up on page 1 almost universally has private contact details for whois. I don’t buy a lot of what you are saying, doesn’t match up with my real world experience.

  65. I am going to work on my privacy and policy pages by including address and valid phone number. Will see how that works. And also, I will buy more years to my domain name. Thank you for the tip πŸ™‚

  66. These days so many people are saying not to get backlinks. As a matter of fact I viewed a Youtube video yesterday from a person who gives site reviews who said backlinks you get today can cause you big problems down the road. I would like to know your opinion on this.

  67. Yeah, but probably not as much work as it would take having to clean up your link profile after doing tiered spam blasts with GSA, Xrumer, Scrapebox, etc. (You prob would know better than I do, Brian. :)) Prob wouldn’t matter much if you’re happy with the churn-and-burn model (seems to work out okay for Matthew Woodward and Jacob King), but that’s way more work than building solid trusted links to a few niche sites.

  68. The last content update that Google did pretty much blew this theory out of the water. I see super trusted sites with all the trimmings falling 5-10 pages now.
    My theory is Google now does not want good results listed after the first page. Why? If searchers can’t find what they are looking for, they are more likely to click on ads. It is still all about ads with Google and since people are using more apps, Google’s web ad clicks are way down and falling!
    You are better off highlighting bad and bizarre results and sending it to Google now. They actually moved a few of my listings back to where they were before the content update.
    Yes, it seems things are that bad at Google now.

  69. Awesome read much appreciated! I am building my site up now trying to rank well locally. Doing ok so far. When I look at my competitors in my city some showed over 25k backlinks ;] But anyways thanks for the great article.

  70. Hey Brian, always love reading your stuff. I’m just a regular don’t know much kind of person who is just trying to keep my small business afloat. I read many of your articles, this one intrigues me because of the checking in on the backlinks issue. Can u explain if strange websites like floating-share-buttons.com/referral or trafficmonetize.org/referral and more πŸ™ have linked to my site cause they show up in those google analytics reports but i’ve never linked to them does that affect my google ranking.
    My website/domain has been registered for several years and i’m registered till 2020 (this is good in googles view right?) i’ve got a great social following, branding,blog (although i have great links i refer to in my blog i’ve yet to work on getting my links back to me ) I do worry about these crazy links that show up in the analytics if they do me harm even tho i have nothing to do with them. Your opinion is appreciated. Thanks for the time

  71. Wow. This article is a breath of fresh air, a pleasure to read, and factual. These qualities are hard to come by these days. Finally someone with some common sense and humor telling it like it is. Kudos to you!

  72. Hey Brian, Thanks for sharing the awesome blog, I really like your blog and the way you explained everything. I was looking for a blog in which I can find how to repair a website from search engine penalty. I was searching so many times on the internet about this but couldn’t find anything working. Can, you please share your strategy for the same? Actually, last year, one of my friends hired someone to promote their online business. At starting results was good, but the visitors were not growing up, after some time ranking of keywords was also going down. I think, it was because of website search engine penalty. I want to help him in recovering his website. But don’t know how I can do. Can you please help me?

    Looking forward for your earliest response. Many thanks in advance!!

  73. I swear your blog is the most useful thing I’ve read since I’m searching for answers about anything blog related. Thank you so much for your time

  74. Thanks for the article Brian.

    As a web designer, we get a lot of backlinks from the footer of sites we’ve designed. Do you think Google sees this as spammy and would rank us down for it? Also, do linked sites with very low authority and PR hurt our SEO efforts or instead just don’t add much?

    Thanks in advance, I’m a new user of your site and it’s great so far.

    Ben

  75. Hi Brian.

    Another awesome article. I wish that I had your insight and ability to get the point across so concisely.

    Anyway, these outbound links to authority sites, should they be “do follow”? Does it make a difference? I have always made these outbound links “no follow”.

    Thanks
    Martin

  76. Jesus, that was one of the most educational and entertaining posts I have ever read. Being that someone in their grandmas basement banging out wp websites can rank all day really opens my eyes to the new-comers around the corner. This is some serious info right here. Thanks!!

  77. Thanks Brian! I thought I would be tired after reading your well written and
    researched report: quite the opposite I was excited! What about people who
    are simply in the beginning phases of developing their sites, havn’t had
    much luck or are new to the network marketing scene? Can they benefit even,
    if they are a little daunted or lack the confidence and enthusiasm you exhibit.
    So much information coming at us. You know data to process.
    Can’t wait to visit your blog. Thanks again!

    Theresa

  78. Great stuff. I learned a lot from your tips. I’ve been experiencing a significant traffic drop for 3 months already and it looks like Google doesn’t take into account either the number of my posts or comments. I should probably focus on building my site trust. Do you recommend taking advantage of the Hoth backlink service?

  79. Hi Brian,

    This is by far one of the most resourceful post on link building that I have come across.

    I was certainly blown away by the idea of boosting a websites trustworthiness by getting links from sites that link to seed domains especially .gov and .edu

    A very resourceful post there Brian. Thanks for sharing

  80. So a lot of the link building methods of old such as Web 2.0 link pyramids won’t pass any trust to your site but can they still serve a purpose in terms of passing relevance through anchor text?

  81. Wow! Is this what happened to me? I’ve had my site for about 7 years now and lately it’s in the provervbial “Toilet”!!!
    I’ve seen my site on page 1 and 2 with the keyword “song of the south dvd” and then… Kapow!! Page 12…Six weeks ago I was 7th result. Now… 70 something!!!!
    Seems the harder I worked to please Google the worse it got! Tested site regularly for speed, content etc. Nibbler loves me. GTMetrix gives me a 96!! And slide… slide…slide. What The????
    I’m gonna work from your suggestions now. I am at my wits end and spending waaaaay too much on Adwords. I used to spend $0.
    Thanks again for your hard work. Gonna go to work now and try and recover.
    Dave

  82. Hi Brian,
    About Step#3: Trustworthy Domain Info,
    i Didn’t saw your whois address and phone on my contact or privacy policy page.
    So, why you recommand this ?
    thank you.

  83. Worthy advices. I’m looking to build my own brand name. not easy, but I took some of your advices and changed my domain registration to public. anchors and social important, but link relevant links are the hardest to get, even when you have good content, still it requires human to human work (B2B).
    One more thing, Do you think that Markup data (like schema.org) also help to build trust ?

    Great day James.

  84. Thank you so much for your great article. It’s really helpful to understand how google trustrank works.

    I have a question. Does Google trust .com domain more than any other domains?

  85. This is very informative. No wonder some of my friends usually look out for the Page Authority and Domain Authority, especially the TrustFlow when they make outbound links. This has really helped me out. Though I’ve been doing everything to improve my trustflow but sometimes you really need to know the theory behind everything. So that you’ll have a full understanding on what’s going on.

  86. great article, however, I would rather you tell me how i can get high pr links, because google news is a bad example, like you said, it is very hard to get into google news, and I doubt the avg joe will. I would rather have info on getting high PR links that would be more realistic to get, so when a future update comes around, google can do a quality inspection, then get the hell on out, and everything you said is spot on, you have to go the extra mile to look like you are an authority if you want google to come and shake your hand, rather then kicking your balls, shooting you in the head, then leaving with a smile. If you are not careful, google will run you over, leave you for dead, and not give a second thought about your site…

  87. Thanks for all the tips. Over the years my site been going down hill for search results with the Big G. I have a lot of links from other sites but a lot seem spammy they must of got my link through search results over the years and linked their website to me without me knowing. Now I have to clean up the mess somehow.

  88. Thanks for the post Brian, is PR even relevant anymore since Google no longer official tells you the page rank of a site?

    My understanding is that Domain Authority (DA), is what factors in with what backlinks you should aim to get now a days.

    Also, what is your opinion on paying for guest blog posts on other’s sites? Is that seen as blackhat or no?

  89. Wow, what a load of info here! Thanks so much for this. I have just upgraded my free version of wordpress to a paid version and was looking how to get ranked with Google; I read a few other blogs about authority, then came across yours…. Didn’t know that you had to have authority & Trust to rank and stay ranked!

    Love your posts, keep up the awesome work!!

    -Marie πŸ˜€

  90. Started in 2009 in Belgium with a Dutch website (now in 5 languages), on #1 for two years (2011-12) in Google ranking for Dutch equivalent of the main keyword Lighting which I sell. And then somewhere end of 2012 Mother-In-Law Google decided that I was running a worthless site while in reality I’m in the top 3 in Europa for the brands I sell. I dropped from 1000 to 200 visitors a day. Imagine the drop in sales. I got a bit back, but only a bit. I consulted tens of SEO specialists that all tell the same story that I already know since 2010. Now you tell something different. Something that my logic says: This makes sense. I’ll see.

  91. Hey Brian! Love your work as always.

    I’m curious to know whether you have any insight as to how the nofollow attribute interacts with the TrustRank algorithm. Does it handle this attribute in the same way that PageRank does? Even if it’s only your own speculation, I’d love to know your thoughts πŸ™‚

    From the discussions I’ve followed it seems to be widely accepted that nofollow links from Wikipedia are great for trust, and for rankings generally. But I’m hesitant to expand this reasoning to the web as a whole. It would only take a few lines of code for Google to treat Wikipedia differently to other websites, and in view of how important and tightly edited that website is,it would also be a very understandable commercial decision for Google to treat them a little differently.

    I’ve tried playing around with some nofollow links from websites that have lots of love from likely seed sites, and there seem to be some small positive effects, but I’ve hardly put the rest of my SEO work on hold to do this so that’s not really a controlled expirement.

    What do you reckon man?

  92. Hey Brian,
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful article. Indeed, Google does take into account the trust factor, else the likes of Huffington post, and Tech Crunch would have needed special manpower just for disavowing bad links.

    However, I have a query for you. I have almost zero trust flow. While examining, I realized Majestic was taking into account temporary backlinks from website analyzers or some “lesser known” search engines which were passing on zero trust flow, thus diluting the trust flow from the “few” contextual backlinks I have.

    Plus, it was showing few of my backlinks to be deleted even though I manually checked them to be working fine. My organic traffic is ever increasing and I have a decent Moz Rank and Moz without much disparity.

    So do you think I must worry about the low Majestic Trust flow?

  93. In short, you need to tell google that you are worth people’s search. I loved your post. Going to implement few of them, especially .edu links for better advancement.

  94. Everything you say here illustrates that google has not the slightest interest in returning accurate search results. That is why my site appears in every search engine except google. If you enter a google search most of the returns have nothig to do with what you are looking for. I simply do not understand why everyone bows and scrapes to them. What search engines are supposed to do is return accurate results and at the moment google does not.

  95. Another Great post! For what it’s worth the new orange “sign up” button almost got a second subscription out of me… could be the killer content though. :p

    Cheers!

  96. This is a really helpful especially for me having a new site, better get it off the ground the right way. So the first thing I did is register my new domain for 2 years, which I didn’t do before, mostly for one year only I register my old sites. Thanks for this tips.

  97. Thanks Brian,
    To be honest, i never used to be a big fan of linking out of my website. But i see a lot of sense and prove in your article and i think it worth doing. Also, this trust issue with google you mentioned, what’s the best way to work around this?
    Thanks

  98. Awesome Brian! I’m taking a lot from your posts, and from AhRefs posts. Really something clicks in my mind and know I’m with the open eyes, seeing what Google Ranks, and make alls sense. All these sites that have these things, like a 10 years domain registration or DMCA protection are ranking above me, so here’s what I do, do everything the same, results? My site has more traffic, more sales, and more visitors. Helpful blog post.

  99. Hi Brian, awesome post thanks heaps!

    You say to increase your trust, and remove links that are not trustworthy.. I was wondering if you have a standard metric for that e.g. remove all links with a MozTrust less than 2?

  100. I just came accross this, I disable whois privacy as well for domains I want to rank, and about 70% of my pbns.

    It never occured to me to include de whois info in the contact page, or that the domain registration length could be a signal. Epic post, going to implement all of the things I don’t check.

    PS: What do you think of press release backlinks for a new site ? In this logic, it could increase google’s trust, since most legitimate companies will use a press release at some point

  101. Hmm. So what you’re saying is that it doesn’t matter if 50%, 60%, 70% of your anchor text is one anchor, as long as the site has trust?

  102. Brian,

    I’ve done a lot of searching online for this, but keep coming up with different answers. Do comments on a blog post help or hurt SEO in any way? If they do help/hurt…should I be deleting those that have no relevant keywords? While my spam comments are automatically deleted, I do get a number of comments that are original, and left by actual people, and are relevant to the post – but they are just full of (for lack of a better term) generic words. My instinct is to delete those…but I’m just not sure.

  103. Hi Brian, I have made a mistake on on first post of my blog starting with a huge list of affiliated themes. The next day I found that post was on second page of google. I was quite happy but within 3 consequent days I never found the post in search result. Now I understand the mistakes step by step. Also noticed that in support of the affiliated post I have written 6 more relevant topics but they are even not cared by google. In this situation can you recommend me “How to gain the Trust factor back for my new site?”

  104. Hi Brian, Very useful information, So is it still worth it to get backlinks in high PR or lower PR sites, your blog above doesnt really say that. I find it very difficult to find sites with high PR to leave comments in. Any help or tips would be greatly appreciated. πŸ™‚

  105. Hey Brian,
    Had to laugh that I was just a guy writing websites in my underwear. Haha. Great article. Thanks for the advice. Your articles are massively useful and YoRocket was a great little App, even though I couldn’t afford to keep it. I will get it back in the future for sure.
    Although your pop-up on this page for
    How I rank #1 for β€œSEO” in YouTube without an ‘x’ button is really annoying and it’s stopping me from finishing this comment. Not sure why it was populating, maybe because I’m subscribed on another email (Refreshed 4 times)…
    Thanks again though.

  106. Another cracking article Brian! Thanks so much. I have read all of your posts and watch your vids – just awesome stuff and has given both my site and my clients sites a huge boost in the rankings. Keep up the good work (btw – when’s your next YouTube vid coming out?).

    Cheers,

    Ian.

  107. Hey Brian, I love how you burst through the BS out there on the internet and give it to us in real, easy to implement posts. Thanks again for another brilliant post. I really appreciate how freely you share your knowledge. And for a non tech-head like me to understand it – well, hats off to you.

  108. After reading this many of the tips seem so obvious and yet I hadn’t thought of them. Thanks for the info. Im going to implement these and see what happens

  109. Hi Brian,
    Great post about google trust rank and i just wanna ask you about google Quality updates.
    One of our website ranking only after the 20+ pages for most of the keywords and after analysis we have confirmed that its due to google quality update and some panda issues. We have tried everything include adding new contents, removing spam links/disavow them but still there is no improvement in ranking.

    Do you suggest building links for that domain from .edu and .gov sites to get more trust ? is that all enough ?

  110. This is unbelievably helpful. I have had some trouble getting our site to rank and couldn’t figure out why. The business does very well, they are backed by a leading national organization, and they were still on page eleventy billion on Google. Can’t wait to try this stuff, and I just signed up for your newsletter. You have a new fan!

  111. Publishing contact and address info may work for physical businesses, providing they can deal with the spam emails and SMSs that come from being harvested.
    Larger companies have the technical resources to deal with protecting themselves from that.
    Small businesses, especially those providing phone services, such as counselling, often need the privacy associated with whois contact info redirection. It is a safety issue, especially for women.
    But then, such micro-businesses only get visits in the tens per day, so Google may not consider them important enough to cater for. But that doesn’t mean they can be at the top of their relevant Google searches, even if they have 100/1000s of competitors.
    However, the use of links out to relevant pages on quality trusted sites is a very easy thing to do, and is the groundwork to get quality back references, such as when people mention your name (citation) or provide a back link, either in a blog, a comment on one, or even in a cloud-based email (yes, our stats show such referral clicks).

  112. News sites have had a lot of bad press lately!
    Fake news abounds, plus the many ex-quality sites that just have drifted to extreme banality, or just making stuff up to bait victims for their advertisers.
    After all, advertising on a site just prompts readers to go somewhere else, so why bother providing any more than the minimum necessary to attract them to the site, and hold them just long enough for them to see an ad that looks more interesting than the article!

  113. hey brian,

    i notice you arem only active on twitter and facebook, but not linkedin. you said yourself that linkedin is super important. why did you choose facebook and twitter but not linkedin? have a nice day

    3. Active Social Media Accounts: All big brands are super-active on social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the like. Even if you run tiny site, get your social accounts rocking and rolling (especially LinkedIn).

  114. Great article as usual. I have two questions about this
    1. Wikipdedia cites referance articles and gives a nofollow link. If me or you are quoting the referance do we need to put nofollow or dofollow link. If i am linking to wordpress.com or backlinko.com from one of my article, what it should be?

    2. If i am getting too many incoming links to my homepage, zero links to my other pages and posts ( through 17 untapped backlink strategy as you mentioned , believe me i have become a fan of your articles, i started following only strategy nowadays), will it be considered as spamming?

  115. Hi Brian. Thanks for awsome information I was looking for! I would like to ask if I can translate it to czech and share it with your credits?

  116. Hey Brian, I have read this blog more than 4-5 times, but I keep coming back to it every few weeks to browse it again. My site has this exact issue – disparity in Mozrank & Moztrust – & am trying to correct it for a while now. Iam trying to follow all the points mentioned in this post & hopeful about getting rid of the issue, which is actually getting counted as spam by Moz.

    Thanks again for the amazing article, Brian!

  117. I know this post won’t get as much traffic as some of your more sexy link building posts. But thank you for writing it. The more technical stuff is great to read πŸ™‚

  118. Hi Brian, thanks for this post. It kind of gave me an idea about what was going on with my new .com url compared to my earlier one that was a wordpress url.
    Since I’m not a tech savvy person, could you please explain this bit to me ‘They should be rel=follow links. You want to give credit where it’s due’ – this was in one of your replies.

  119. Hi Brian,

    My website has been really hit hard after google’s last update – although I only use white hat SEO (And I am a beginner at it).

    So I really loved your article, that helped me understand some trust signals I can work on.

    Thanks for the great work!

  120. Sorry for my bad english, i am not native speaker, however …

    You write Step#5: Google News Site Backlinks because of very trustful sites.
    I found a few sites which are in google news and i can be a author on the websites, but all content links from own content are nofollow.
    Some of this site has alexa rank of under 2000 in german alexa… Does it helps for the trustrank?

  121. “It’s either about anchor text or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.”

    It’s not just both ways, it’s 200+ ways. Google’s algorithm is looking at a huge number of factors and most definitely many of them are related to trust/authority/relevance (or whatever you want to call it).

    But it should be very clear to anyone with experience recovering penalized sites that anchor text is a huge factor (obviously not the only factor or the end-all-be-all). I never read the MicroSiteMasters article but have worked on near 1000 site analyses and disavows now, for mostly penalized sites with low-budget SEO work or negative SEO attacks.

    To put it differently, spam links or negative SEO WITH commercial anchor text are far more risky than without the commercial anchor text. Or reasonably decent links with high commercial anchor text are also still a risk and can cause a penalty (or obviously a manual penalty too, that may explicitly state it is because commercial anchor text). But otherwise I agree, the positive end of the link profile (actual good links) are a huge factor in whether or not a site gets penalized and to what degree, or if it will be affected by negative SEO. Commercial anchor text percentage is not a standalone factor and it is almost certain Google also has mechanisms that are trying to detect negative SEO as well, and automatically ignore those outliers.

    Another issue when you’re analyzing other site’s link profiles is you don’t know what links they have disavowed so the anchor text you see is not necessarily what Google is seeing.

  122. Hi, good reading. I noticed that godaddy now has the option to add Trusted Site, some kind of McAfee thing, to your website, do you think this would help with the above?

  123. Hi Brian, nice writing but there is really nothing new here. You just took some well known stuff and you repackaged it.
    Your comment about the Google news is incorrect – even new sites can get into Google news as long as they meet the guidelines. You don’t really need to build any reputation.

  124. Brian – this may have the answer to a long overdue problem I have been facing.

    Thanks a million and good luck with the Thongs πŸ˜‰

  125. Hi Brian,

    Thanks for breaking this all down. I’m learning more and more about Google’s trust and authority signals from your blog. I find it fascinating how Google “views authority” and the parallels of what is deemed as authoritative away from the search box. SEO seems to be as much about Commerce as it is about relevancy for the user. Great post!

    cheers,

    Brett

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