Your website’s TrustRank can affect its search rankings on Google. Developed by a team of Stanford University researchers in 2004, TrustRank is a formula for measuring the trustworthiness of websites. Google uses it to restrict the search rankings of deceitful and low-quality websites while simultaneously allowing trustworthy websites to rank high in its search results.
Google’s algorithm will assign a TrustRank to all websites based on their level of trustworthiness. The more Google trusts a website, the higher its TrustRank will be. A high TrustRank, of course, allows for better rankings on the search engine. How can you improve your website’s TrustRank exactly?
TrustRank is an internal formula in Google’s algorithm, and like PageRank data, Google doesn’t release TrustRank data to the public. There’s no way to see your website’s TrustRank. Neither Google nor any third-party search engine optimization (SEO) provider offers TrustRank data. For a general understanding of your website’s TrustRank, though, you can track your site’s Domain Authority (DA).
DA is a formula developed by Moz. It’s powered by Moz’s proprietary machine learning technology. Moz will assign websites a DA based on how likely they are to rank on Google. Both TrustRank and DA are site-wide metrics. By tracking your website’s DA, you’ll have a better idea of whether Google trusts it.
Acquire Backlinks From Trustworthy Websites
One of the most effective ways to improve your website’s TrustRank is to acquire backlinks from other trustworthy sites. TrustRank is heavily influenced by backlinks. This algorithmic formula specifically looks at backlinks from seed sites.
Workers within Google’s team of Quality Raters will manually identify high-quality and trustworthy websites as seed sites. These seed sites carry an exceptionally high TrustRank. If a seed site links to your website, it will pass some of its TrustRank down to your website.
Clean Up Spammy Backlinks
Don’t forget to clean up any spammy backlinks. You can’t always control which sites link to your website. Any site, in fact, can link to your website at the operator’s discretion. If you allow spammy sites to link to your website, you may experience a lower TrustRank. Cleaning up spammy backlinks such as this will improve your website’s TrustRank.
To clean up a spammy backlink, you should first attempt to get it removed. You can email the operator of the spammy site and ask him or her to remove it. Many operators will remove backlinks if you ask them.
If you can’t get the spammy backlink removed, disavowing is an alternative way to deal with it. Google offers a disavow tool in Search Console. You can access it directly by logging in to Search Console and then visiting search.google.com/search-console/disavow-links. Disavowing a backlink means that you are disassociating your website from it, so Google won’t use it for rankings.
Build Outbound Links to Trustworthy Websites
For a higher TrustRank, build outbound links to other trustworthy sites. Both backlinks and outbound links influence TrustRank. But unlike backlinks, you have complete control over your website’s outbound links. Building outbound links to other trustworthy sites will help your website earn a higher TrustRank.
You can use Moz’s DA to identify trustworthy sites for outbound linking purposes. Before building an outbound link to another site, check the site’s DA. A DA of 40 or higher is typically indicative of trustworthiness. There are still trustworthy sites with a lower DA out there, but building outbound links to those with a DA of at least 40 will have a positive effect on your website’s TrustRank.
Include Transparent Contact Information
Updating your website with transparent contact information can lead to a higher TrustRank. Visitors who are unfamiliar with your website may look for its contact information. According to a report by KoMarketing, 44 percent of visitors will leave websites that don’t display their contact information. Google will also look for your website’s contact information. Transparent contact information will result in a higher TrustRank.
Transparent contact information encompasses more than just an email address. You should display multiple forms of contact information on your website, such as an email address, phone number, social media profiles, and live chat. If your website represents a local business, you can display the business’s address as well.
Convert to HTTPS
Converting your website from the default Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) networking technology to the more secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) networking technology can improve its TrustRank. HTTP and HTTPS are protocol-based technologies that control how visitors interact with websites. HTTPS is simply an upgraded version of HTTP that encrypts the exchanged data.
By converting your website to HTTPS, all data sent to and received by visitors will be secure. The exchanged data will be encrypted, thereby increasing trust. Visitors and Google alike will trust your website a little more if uses HTTPS.
You can convert your website to HTTPS by installing a cryptographic certificate, known as a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate or Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate, on your server. Keep in mind that converting to HTTPS will change your website’s addresses. It will still have the same URL paths, but they’ll begin with HTTPS. Therefore, you should redirect the old addresses — those that begin with HTTP — to the new versions that begin with HTTPS.
Create Superb Content
The content on your website will affect its TrustRank. You can’t expect Google to trust your website if it features short-form, low-quality content. Trustworthy websites typically feature long-form, expert-quality content. With superb content, your website will earn a higher TrustRank from Google’s algorithm.
For most types of website content, you should include citations. Citations are references to sources of information. When included in a piece of website content, they create transparency. Citations show visitors and Google the sources from which your website obtained the information used in its content.
Google uses a complicated algorithm consisting of many different individual formulas to rank websites. In addition to PageRank, its algorithm is powered by TrustRank. TrustRank is a semi-automated formula that measures trustworthiness. Improving your website’s TrustRank can help it rank on Google.
Lori Ballen is a real estate agent in Las Vegas. She’s a digital marketing specialist, speaker, and marketing coach and loves to share her “Ballen Method” to generate website traffic and leads online. Lori’s specialties are SEO content writing (ranking on the search engines), social media strategies, and affiliate marketing. Need a website? Contact Lori’s brothers Jeff and Paul Helvin at Ballen Brands.