Domain Trust: How to Build a Reputation That Matters and how it affects SEO

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Domain trust - what is it?

In order to determine whether a website is trustworthy, domain trust is a key factor. Domain trust is calculated by considering the quality of content and links, however, there are no standard methods of calculation.

Domain trust background

Websites that provide added value are trusted by internet users. Offering high-quality, relevant results in search engine results pages (or SERPs) is crucial for Google and other search engines to deliver a good user experience. 

Search engine advertising is how search engines make money. On the SERP and elsewhere on the web, advertising links appear alongside organic results.

 It can directly affect the advertising environment for advertisers if the organic results are of high quality. User expectations are affected by poor organic search results. Additionally, low quality (or spam) links in paid search results would reflect poorly on Google and its company. With the support of domain trust, search engines can provide higher quality sites in search results.

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Trust in a domain is measured by PageRank by Google

In the early days of the internet’s development, Sergey Brin developed a formula for domain authority and trust.  PageRank was named after Sergey after he patented it in 1997. 

As of today, Google still uses PageRank to evaluate websites, although the underlying algorithms have evolved with time. The PageRank data for websites was made available by Google until 2016 on a scale of 0 to 10. Where 10 meant the highest page value and  Page values were generally given a value of 0 for new pages or pages that were devalued. Today, however, PageRank data can no longer be accessed publicly.

What factors determine a domain’s trustworthiness?

For determining whether a domain is “trusted,” there are many different reference points. Among them are the following:

Age of the Domain

A domain’s age can be an important indicator of its seriousness on the fast-moving web. Search engines like a domain that is older because they offer continuity as well as the fact that they have a rich history. By analyzing this historical data, for instance, one can easily assess the evolution of user behavior, traffic, and links.

Link popularity played an important role in the ranking of early commercial searches. A greater number of links equate to higher rankings. The mass of backlinks does not affect domain trust, however. Quality backlinks are important. 

Additionally, the anchor text, the content of the linking site, and its URL, are considered as well. A large number of links coming from spammy websites or sites operating in an environment of spam, such as gambling sites, pornographic sites, or directory websites, will result in a weak domain rating.

Good Content Quality

There are many factors that affect the value of content: Use of high-resolution images that are clean and unpixelated? Do the images have no copyright infringements? Could you verify that the graphics aren’t reproduced elsewhere? Text also has different quality standards. The quality of a piece of text can be measured by whether it is free of grammatical or spelling errors, and if it is well-organized. Devaluation results from direct copying of content from other websites.

Website topic’s seriousness

The sector of a website can be used by website operators to ensure domain trust. In particular, websites that are part of the betting industry, such as dubious investment websites or pornographic websites, have difficulty achieving high domain trust. Internet users aren’t the only ones who consider such sites to be suspicious. This type of site is often marked by excessive spam or unauthorized black-hat SEO tactics.

Ratings from objective users

Domain trust can be boosted by user ratings or reviews. Ratings are taken into account by Google when determining rankings. The same applies to local search listings and the business listing on Google My Business.

Balanced relationship with advertising

 It has been shown that Google has been thinking of too much advertising in the visible area of websites since 2012 when it updated its evaluation of page layouts. Excessive advertising in recent years has devalued websites with relevant content that appears to be tacked on top.

Absence of spam

 Spam websites can’t have high domain trust, so it goes without question that they can’t be considered trustworthy. There are many types of spam. In addition to the unnatural growth of links, Google may also penalize content that contains excessive keyword utilization in meta description data.

Website Operator Information

Mastheads that are displayed as images or if the site operator conceals their registration information are signs of a fraudulent website. Websites that are registered in countries other than the target country can also draw attention if they are circumventing legal requirements there. There are a number of gambling websites targeted at Germans, but those websites are located in Cyprus, Malta, or the Cayman Islands.

Behavior of users

 User behavior can have a significant impact on domain trust. Search engines consider this to be a signal that the website is of lower quality, since visitors quickly leave (or bounce), remaining on the site for only a short time.

External links

The search engines are wary of websites that link en masse to another website. A link farm might be involved. Outgoing links without a nofollow attribute specifically damage the domain trust.

Registrant and host’s seriousness

 Google can access website registration details just like any other internet user. As a result, the search engine is able to determine a website’s host environment, thereby determining whether it is a good neighborhood or a bad neighborhood, thereby devaluing it.

Which domain trust factors can I influence?

There are several ways through which domain owners can increase trust. Quality content and technology are also important factors. In addition, the site needs to be maintained continuously. Lots of 404 errors indicate that the site isn’t being maintained properly, for example. It is also important to follow Webmaster Guidelines.

Check your own link profile on a regular basis as well. Is your domain linked to any dubious websites? It is possible to devalue potentially damaging links by using Google’s Disavow tool.

In addition, we recommend that you create a Google Search Console account for your website. In addition to providing centralized data for optimization, this free tool also detects unnatural links, hacks, and other problems on a website.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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