While most of the factors have decreased in relevance, the concept of is having a greater importance than ever. What do we mean by domain trust and how can you get search engines, especially Google to Trust your domain?
The terms “domain trust” and “domain authority” are bandied about a lot by search engine optimization services today. Domain trust is an expression that’s commonly used these days in SEO circles. Widely recognised as being of significant importance few people are able to offer a clear definition of domain trust and how it can influence search placements.
Here’s an explanation of domain trust, what it means and what you can do to build it. But let’s first have a look at the meaning of the term “trust” ..
The search engines work tirelessly in the pursuit of relevance. The name of their game is to match queries with the most suitable returns. The better they are at it, giving people simple stress free online search experiences that deliver the goods, then the more people will use them. In other words, the more value search adds to users’ lives the more value they add to their market price.
Google runs hundreds of tests against websites and checks numerous signals in order to establish relevance. One of the most important qualities that a web site can exhibit is domain trust.
The more domain trust you have the better you rank.
Domain Trust – Who links to you?
To a large extent domain trust is down to proximity. Google loves high quality websites. Well designed, well structured web sites bursting with great content and blessed with large numbers of satisfied visitors – these are Google’s trusted domains.
The closer you live to trusted domains, in other words the more direct links your site has from trusted domains, the more trust you gain.
Sites one link removed from the trusted domain network will generate 0.01% web spam. Two or more clicks from the trusted domain network and you are moving in circles that deal in unacceptable levels of spam – levels of 1.2% or more.
Domain Trust – Who you link to
It also matters who you link to. If you link to low trust sites, expect this to damage your domain trust. You’re in bad company. Link to trusted sites to boost your own domain trust.
Reciprocal links directories? Don’t do it. Why would any credible website link to a site that spams? It wouldn’t. Google is wise to this.
Domain Trust – Registration information
Google has been official registrar since 2003. Why? So that it can look under the web bonnet and access important web registration information. Being able to identify the owners of websites means Google can spot themes. If you own 100 sites and Google spots that 75 of them are spam sites then expect this to be reflected in search placements through
Domain Trust – User Data Signals
Google collects huge amounts of information about what users do on the web – through Analytics, through the tool bar, free wi-fi and through third party relationships. Signals reveal how naturally a domain is behaving. If the data signals are unusual the domain might well be penalised. Normal behaviour indicates a trust.
Follow Google guidelines, prioritise quality design and quality content and allow domain trust to grow naturally.
- Domain Age – it takes time to build trust and the past history of a domain may effect domain trust.
- Link Profile – essentially looking at the range of sites that you link to comparing the good links compared to the bad links.
- Domain Trust of other sites in a PageRank type relationship.
- Social networking (not yet but maybe in the future)
- On page information such as stop words?
- Links from a white-list of sites which is periodically checked by hand for quality? A list of manually checked sites that are unlikely to become untrustworthy overnight, Wikipedia (this rules out being correct as a factor), BBC, CNN, etc.
- Contact information on a page.
- Rate of link growth, natural growth – number of links grows as a function of time and the number of pages in a site. More content should mean more link growth. Is there a natural rate of growth for links depending on site size?
- Duplicate Content – a site that steals content from another site would be more likely to be dodgy.
- Bounce Rate – noisy but could be a secondary factor. It has certainly been touted as a possible ranking factor for a long time. A good site would satisfy the needs of its users but this could still be acheived in one page-view.
- Link distribution – how are the links distributed on the site. Are there any deep links or is the entire link structure concentrating on the home page?
- Long-tail rankings – sites that appear for many long tail search are more likely to have good content than simple web sites.