Trust and authority of the website in search engines

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In this article, I will tell you about the secret of good positions of websites in search engines, about the notions of trust and authority, about trustworthy websites, factors influencing the trust, negative factors, about the ways to improve the websites’ trust, and so on.

The secret of good positions of the website in SEs

What is the secret of good sites positions in Google and other popular and authoritative search engines? Many SEOs are still chasing PageRank (weight of pages) thinking that their websites will be ranging better but they forget about the fact that PR is only one of a great number of the ranking factors.

Search engines take into account the relevance of the pages and external links; they also pay attention to the trust and the authority of the site. What do these words mean and how to earn a good trust for the website?

Trust and authority of the website in search engines

The concepts of the trust and the authority

The opinions of SEOs about trust are built on unscientific observations and assumptions. Only those who are working with it in Google or in another search engine know the full operation of this system. However, despite this, in 1999-2002 Stanford University has done research on the trust of the sites, in 2004, during an international conference on large-scale databases in Toronto (Canada), guys from Stanford and Yahoo presented to the public the material about TrustRank, nowadays many SEOs refers to this data.

Discussions on a question of trust come down to the fact that it is calculated on the basis of links and the initial list of the trusted domains.

trust calculation

In simple terms, the trust is the reason why some sites get in TOP with competitive search requests just publishing page associated with these key terms.

Websites like Wikipedia and the BBC does not need external links to their page because Google trusts these domains so much that they get in TOP without much effort.

Almost all SEOs talk now about the trust and the trust became more and more important in ranking factors. However, you must take into account the point that despite the fact that the notions of trust and authority of the website are equal to us, Google divides them, each of these elements has a role in the search algorithm. It is easier to earn authority, than trust.

trust and authority distinction

Then we will use the terms trust and authority of as synonyms but in the last paragraph we will divide them schematically.

What websites are trustworthy according the search engines?

The authority often means that people trust you as an expert in your field. The secret is in the next fact: If you get the authority because people trust you, the search engines will also trust, I mean SEs will take in consideration people’s opinion (eg, Google).

In the context of the search, the authority is collected from all elements of the site, then the sites graded from fully respected to non-authoritative resources; more reputable and trust sites have an advantage over the others in terms of ranking. Actually authorities in the eyes of Google are other players, which has its own rules, and such trust sites even have a higher risk than others, because trust is easier to lose than to earn. There are many factors that affect the authority, including the domain zone (.gov sites are more trustworthy than .info), the quantity and the quality of links and the traffic.

The factors influencing the trust

So, what are the elements of the site and of the content can increase the authority of the resource? Let’s start with the negative factors gradually moving to the positive ones effecting on authority of the site.

  • Negative factors

What can you do with your website or with the website of your competitors in order to undermine the trust and thus the positions in SERP?

Avoid the following items for your website:

  1. Buying and selling links. If it is known that you are buying links, then do not count on a long stay in the search engines. Google is very severe and constantly battle against the corrupt links destroying their effect. There are even “dirty” sites in the eyes of Google, where buying the links you can instantly undermine your credibility. Do not believe me? Ask this question on SEO conferences and the specialist in SEO will tell you the same.
  2. Bad environment. Even if you do not buy links but you have a bad environment, then do not be surprised if you will be guilty by association.
  3. Unnatural style of growth. Search Engines are closely watching the growth of links/backlinks and the naturalness of these signals. It does not mean that your site will get a penalty if you get on the main page of, get 20k unique visitors and a hundreds of links. However, the situation will be unpleasant if you have one page site and 10k links fall in the index every night.
  4. Spam in comments. Leave spam, wait its indexing and watch the falling position.
  5. Not enough different links. You put your links with friends on their resources or they occur naturally because of the unique and useful content? These links are very appreciated by Google.
  6. Scant or spam content. Copy/past, double content, content from RSS feeds or simply dirty spam likely will be at the bottom of the SERPs. Do you want the search engine give you quality sites to your request? They use the human factor, automated algorithms and observe the behavior of users, if they have found what they expected.

Thus, the first thing you need to pay attention – to make your site look as natural as possible.

We talked about the negative factors but what about the positive ones?

  • Websites’ traffic

The website’s traffic is not difficult to identify for a person, but what about robots? It is well known that the search engines can track clicks of some search pages; they can also keep track the rate of statistics (Google Analytics, etc.).

The search engines know their stuff, and even if they give to some site undeserved trust, then for certain search results, they can get a good feedback from the users’ behavior. Another tip for them can be branded search; if many people are looking for your brand, then it is probably a good sign. Now becomes clear why at the request of Porsche appears official website of the brand of the car.

  • Linking factors

Probably the most important factor for the creation of the trust will be the links. Imagine that Google has a list of links of the trust resources. If you are not yet in this category of websites then links from these resources will give a good push to the high positions in SERP. Typically, these sites are the catalogs.

Among the trust catalogs I can note DMOZ and Yahoo! A key point when you add a site in a catalog is its moderation, is there any tough moderation of sites or all websites can be added all and sundry? The authoritative catalogs are one of the types of paid links that are loved by all search engines.

Domain extension of links is significant, because it is difficult to get links from some domain zones (for example, for Google it’s “.edu”, “.gov”, “”).

The important factors of trust are a variety of backlinks (different resources refer to you or the same?) and temporal analysis of the growth of the links mass (What is the reason for the increase? The site published a super-material, which instantly was shared on other resources or simply the owner bought many links?).

get PR7

Among other linking factors, I can note the next: the age of the links (old or just appeared), their subjects (if the link’s theme corresponds to the acceptor), the position in the code (if the link is in the sidebar, the footer or the content).

  • Information about the domain

As you already know, the domain can be one of the factors affecting the trust.

  1. Domain’s age. Old domains get the trust because they have been in the Internet for a long time, especially if the owner and the content on the site have not changed.
  2. Domain extension. As I already said, it is difficult to get the citation of your materials on some domains, but if some of these sites cited your resource, you can be sure that people trust you more.
  3. The registration period. Is the domain is registered for a long period or it may cease to exist at any time?
  4. Other registration data. Is the registration data of your website are real or it was generated automatically by common pattern?
  • Your website’s factors

Do you want all visitors like your website?

  1. Content. It must be qualitative and contain something useful.
  2. Contact information and information about the protection of the site. If you have a commercial site (for example, an online store or any online service), there must present the necessary information. Or maybe you have something to hide from the visitors?
  3. Usability. Can a visitor to use navigation and easy to get access to any section? What about those who use rare browsers, did you take care of them?
  4. Page load time. Search engines and people love fast loading resources.
  5. Time spent on the site. How much time people spend on your website? Maybe they looked at one page and back to where they came from, or still interested and continue to look further? The longer visitors stay on the site and go deep into the navigation, it means that they are interested in your website and you deserve more trust.

How to increase your site’s trust?

I described schematically the main factors affecting the trust and authority of the website, which we discussed in detail above.

trust factors

Taking the above into account, you probably noticed that the important things on your site must be:

  1. The natural behavior of the site and its growth based on the promotion of the reviews about it.
  2. A valuable and unique content created for people, not for search engines.
  3. Strong foundation and design, made for a person.

Now, look carefully at your site. Does it answer to these descriptions?