How to get trust on Google?
Disclaimer: All the algorithms presented here are just guesses and theories on my part, which I have gathered over my 13 years of SEO. Although Google itself rarely talks about backlinks, this part of the algorithm is at least sometimes completely overlooked. But I know it must exist in this or a similar form - this is simply confirmed by my observations from over a decade of SEO
Concretely theTrustrankexists in the form ofpatent since 2004. At the time, the patent was that you just manually select the 200 trusted pages on the web. Then you look at the links to these "trusted" sites. In theory and in practice, the trustrank established in this way is very effective and can sort out the vast majority of web spam. Indeed, a trusted website does not normally link to a spam site. In my opinion, however, trust today is much more than the link-based trustrank of 2004.
- Why does Google need trust?
- How to gain trust?
- How can Google specifically measure whether my website is trustworthy?
- How to get more trust on Google?
- Do individual URLs also have a trust?
- When do you get more trust from Google?
Why does Google need trust?
Google wants to provide its users with the best search results, because the success of the search engine depends on it. SEO specialists know, of course, that there are algorithms behind the rankings that can be optimized or manipulated. It is therefore essential that Google keeps control in this area and that no domain suddenly gets an unjustified ranking. Because if search results deteriorate, it costs Google reputation and money - measurably.
In the early days of Google, there were still various tricks to get a good ranking quickly. For example, I still remember one SEO's trick that automatically gave new domains good rankings for a few days, the so-called newbie bonus. In addition, new domains were indexed extremely quickly by Google, no matter how many there were. The SEO in question (I only know the story, not his name) discovered that this also applied to new subdomains, for example News.Seokratie.de or Purzelbaum.Seokratie.de. Subdomains, unlike domains, do not have to be purchased, but can be registered and one domain can be transformed into billions of subdomains. No sooner said than done, this SEO made a fortune with about five billion (!) subdomains. At times, they made up a quarter of Google's index, until this gap in the algorithm was closed. However, it took a good month. Google is now very careful that such results do not get out of hand and wants to avoid flooding the index with spam at all costs. Various security mechanisms have been installed for this purpose.
Two main mechanisms for fighting spam
- Flags : The flags lights up when something unusual happens. Think of it as a program that acts as a line judge. As soon as it notices something very unusual, it raises the flag as a signal, the flag. Then a Search Quality employee or engineer takes a closer look. Irregularities in user behavior, strange results, accumulations and anything unknown are reported. If possible, the concerned employee tries to deal with this anomaly in such a way that it cannot happen again. This way, not only the individual case is solved, but also all future cases.
- Confidence: A domain must not only have the factual prerequisites for a good ranking, it must also have some trust. Trust - as in real life - is not achieved overnight, it has to be earned.
How to gain trust?
When Amazon, MediaMarkt or another big electronics retailer includes the iPhone in their stores, they rank in the top 10. Sometimes we at Seokratie are asked why MeintollerOnlineShop.de (our own store) is not in the top. Even if everything was perfect in terms of SEO and usability - which is usually not the case - it is easier to rank as a great brand. Some online marketers give up in frustration and turn away from SEO. But is this really the case? It depends! Perhaps it's important to use real life as an example to understand the trust algorithm.
Who do you trust in real life?
- Contact: You must know the person.
- Duration: The longer you have known the person, the more you trust them.
- Intensity: Trust also develops and grows (or falls) in a crisis. If you trust someone and you are right, you trust them even more afterwards.
The more frequent and intense these expressions of trust are, the more quickly trust is established. Groups of people who have gotten to know each other in extraordinary situations and who, for example, fought for survival on a desert island for fifteen days after a plane crash (I'm exaggerating slightly), probably trust each other more than distant colleagues in a company who have only met once a week in the hallway for five years. It is important to understand this human mechanism, because that is exactly how Google's algorithm works.
This allows both small brands with few touchpoints to move up in the rankings over time, but also large websites with international marketing campaigns to do so in a matter of months. The more contact, duration or intensity, the better.
How can Google determine if my website is trustworthy?
It is important to know that this is not enough, but that Google must "perceive" all positive signals repeatedly. After all, it is only when you have seen each other more often that you really trust each other - just like in real life. So it's not enough that search queries only explode in June 2021. Ideally, they should then remain high for months or even years, or increase continuously.
The following factors are certainly not all evaluated - but these are my guesses as to what Google could review.
- Search queries for the brand or domain name are a simple signal to measure brand awareness.
- Trusted websites are often mentioned - in forums, social media, on other websites and elsewhere on the web.
- Trustworthy websites are often linked to trustworthy websites - and back to trustworthy websites. The more reliable the linking site, the better for you.
- Good websites are often visited directly, with so-called "type insThat is, when someone types directly on Seokratie.de to see if there is anything new with us. Google can analyze this very well with Chrome and Android.
- In the same way, Google can also monitor the traffic flow of your website: if there is a lot of traffic from social media, email or WhatsApp, Google sees it (via Chrome and Android).
- The CTR (click-through rate) in Google Search plays a very important role. The more you are known in a region, the higher your CTR.
- The name of the website is also a trademark of UG, AG, GmbH or a registered trademark.
- New quality content, regularly and over a very long period of time - in my opinion, one of the most important factors, in addition to external factors.
- Good user signals measured with Chrome and Android. Not the bounce rate, but slightly more complex signals.
- The complete Core Web Vitals are of course also a trust factor. It's not just about the new factors, but also about the use of HTTP or whether the site has been hacked.
- Links pointing outside your website are certainly also examined. Are you linking to good websites or only to junk sites?
- Number and frequency of 404 or server errors. If you rank well but your server crashes every three days, it will frustrate users and ultimately Google. Is the website accessible every time Googlebot passes by? Is the load time always good or does the online store server regularly crash on Sunday nights?
- Quality reviewer ratings - Google denies that ratings are directly included in the ranking - but maybe I would let such a manual rating from an expert go into the trust score? But that's highly speculative, to be honest.
- Badges, seals and certificates (such as TÜV or Trusted Shops)
- Presence of certain trustworthy URLs (data protection, legal notice, press area)
The subject you want to gain confidence in plays an important role. My personal assessment is that the more specialized you become, the faster it goes. If you create a page of advice on USB headsets, you will get good rankings faster than with a page of advice on "technology". Google loves specialized websites. A few areas are basically trusted for all topics, like Wikipedia or major newspapers. But even among newspapers, there are financial newspapers and tabloids, where Google clearly stands out. The Financial Times has a harder time ranking for topics related to the British royal family than Gala.de. Conversely, Gala.de probably can't rank as well as the Financial Times for the latest stock market developments.
Confidence factors in a particular topic could be, in my opinion:
- Links to the central pages of the corresponding section. If you are active in the gardening industry, well-known gardening websites should ideally link to you.
- The rigor of your content: do you always write on the same topic or are you highly specialized?
- Frequent mention of your website or URL on pages that are trusted in the corresponding topic.
- The names of the authors as entities in the corresponding subject (especially for medical or financial subjects)
How to get more trust in Google?
By improving the above mentioned points. This is mostly in line with the old credo of the search quality team: "Build a website that users love" Literally, on the instructions for webmastersit says: "Webmasters who follow our instructions provide more user-friendly websites and are consequently rewarded with higher rankings than those who constantly look for loopholes." If I may give you one very important piece of advice: try to build a very good website - and try to make it known to your target group. If you focus on that, Google's trust will often come on its own.
Attempts to manipulate CTR or fake search queries are usually not effective but never last. On the contrary, it's very effective if you generate real interest in your brand with a good marketing campaign, for example - then you really do have a known brand in addition to the positive effects of SEO!
Do individual URLs also have a trust?
I'm very sure of that. I'm sure you know of one or two URLs that have been firmly entrenched in the same position for years. I think there is a domain trust as well as a URL trust that assigns trust to individual URLs. Of course, I don't know if it's the URL or the topic that is decisive - both would be possible.
When do you get more trust from Google?
This is a very good question! Of course, as a new website owner, you are impatient and want to get a good ranking as quickly as possible. I assume that websites that do a lot of things right very quickly also get a high trust score very quickly. Someone who runs a huge marketing campaign and injects tons of traffic from other sources to their website early on will meet the criteria faster than someone who has only moderate traffic for years. It also seems to depend on the size of the topic. Someone who fishes through the ranks of Amazon, Media Markt and Saturn and sells all sorts of electronics has to be much more trustworthy than someone who only offers USB headphones.
So: start by focusing, gain the trust of Google and the users there, then position yourself more broadly, step by step. You can also opt for a broad approach from the start, but with the necessary marketing power.
What do you think about the theme of trust? Do you have a similar view or not?