The days of getting as much power to your website and seeing your rankings rise are over. Nowadays, trust is much more important than so-called “link juice.” You used to be able to rank fairly easily by purchasing old domains, changing the content on them, and then linking to your site from the homepage of the domain. That strategy worked quite well until not too long ago. In many cases, allowing that strategy to work allowed for some less-than-ideal search results. Google moved to rectify the situation by incorporating the concept of trust much more into its algorithm. But what is trust? There’s certainly a lot of misinformation out there about it, but I’ll try to give my thoughts on how you can boost the trust of your website in the eyes of Google.
#1- Think About Domain Authority More Than Page Rank
In the old days, people would have one page on their website that they wanted to rank. They would get as many links as possible to that one page and ignore the other pages of their site. This worked quite well for a while, but why would Google trust a site that had all its links going to just one page? Google changed its algorithm to incorporate more the concept of domain authority. Domain authority is a complex calculation but is generally the accumulation of the authority of every individual page on a website. So, if you want Google to trust your website more, you can’t just focus on getting quality links to one page of your site. You have to also focus on the other pages of your site. This is a simplified explanation, but just know that you can’t just focus on one page of your site and expect to rank highly in Google anymore.
#2- Make Sure Your Site Is Active And Regularly Updated
Google does not like stale websites. They want to make sure that the webmaster didn’t just put up a site and walk away from it. A huge sign of trust for Google is that you keep your site updated. Keeping your content fresh and updated shows to Google that you really care about your website and you want to be an authority in your niche.
#3- Social Signals Are Your Friend
Social signals definitely boost the trust of your website. Think about it this way. If you put out a bunch of content, and no one likes or shares it on Facebook, no one tweets about it, no one pins it, etc., is there any reason for Google to think it’s good content? Certainly not in most cases. You should view social signals as trusted votes for your content in the eyes of Google. It’s helpful to have social signals to your content, and it’s also helpful if there are social signals pointing to the content linking to your site. Keep this in mind if you are trying to increase the trust of your site.
#4- Get Links Close To Trusted Seed Sites
The most trusted sites on the web are sites like Wikipedia and WebMD. A major study back a number of years ago showed that the higher the number of links away your site is from one of those sites (called trusted “seed” sites), the higher the chance your site is spammy. If you get a bunch of links from sites that are several links away from these super trusted sites, Google will not trust your site very much. Without getting too much further into the details, you just want to make sure that your links are coming from sites that are as close (many as few links away) to these trusted major sites as possible. How do you know what the most trusted sites are? I would just look at domain authority. If you are getting links from sites with a domain authority of 70 or higher, you will be boosting the trust of your site (holding other things constant).
#5- Don’t Ever Do Anything Spammy
Make sure you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by doing anything considered spammy. That means don’t use any automated tools or outsource any link building. Google is becoming very adept at detecting spam. It’s best just not to do anything that could possibly be construed as spam.
If you follow these guidelines, you will be greatly increasing your chances of ranking well. Right now, trust is king in Google.