Does Google Trust Your Website?

trust signals

Ranking well in Google is all about trust. You always hear people in the IM community talking about this “trust” factor, but it seems that no one really wants to give out the formula. What I’m going to teach you is how to make your website trusted and how to keep it in Google’s good graces.

This trust formula is compromised of both on-site and off-site signals.

On-Page and Domain Trust Factors

Creating a trust environment is actually really easy and I’m going to give you a nice checklist to go through. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black, grey, or white hat, these strategies will make your life a lot easier.

1. About, Contact, Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Affiliate Disclaimer Pages

Whenever you create a new website, the very first thing you should do is create these pages. These pages are huge on-page trust signals because Google knows that most spammers could care less about adding them. I use this plugin to generate the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service for every site I create.

2. Link Out

As you probably notice, I link out pretty frequently on this blog, and I do this with every single website I work on because I know it’s a huge trust signal. When you link out Google views your website as a resource. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a spammer who is trying to hoard PageRank and authority, will probably never link out.

The Internet is designed to be one massive resource, not an isolated event on your website.

Link out, be apart of the community, and gain Google’s trust.

Important notes about linking out:

  • Don’t go crazy: linking out in moderation is great, just don’t link out to 100 different websites in your article. Every link you add to an article, decreases the chances that it will be clicked.
  • Don’t link to bad neighborhoods: this should be pretty obvious, but don’t link out to websites that live “bad neighborhoods”. Some of these websites include gambling, porn, and illegal activity. SEO is sometimes about common sense. Please use it here.

3. Get Social Shares

Social shares show Google that people are finding some type of value in your content.

High-quality SEO content that is well researched, that goes above-and-beyond what others are doing in your industry, and has a unique perspective will provoke the social shares you’re looking for.

If you need some examples of people who consistently produce value and are constantly rewarded with social shares because of it, check out Brian Dean from Backlinko, Neil Patel from Quick Sprout, and Derek Halpern from Social Triggers.

These three blogs + mine šŸ˜› are the only resources you need to have a successful blog and online marketing campaign.

4. Blog Comments

You should be actively trying to provoke comments on your blog because it shows Google that your website is becoming a community and resource (that equals trust). One of the best ways to get comments on blog post is to simply ASK.

5. Have an Active Blog

Not only does having an active blog get your website more spider visits from Google, but it also helps establish your website as an authority within the industry. And most importantly, a good blog will attract links naturally.

As you should know, Google counts relevant backlinks as votes.

More relevant (quality) votes = more trust, more traffic, and easier ranking in the SERPS.

6. Don’t Copy People’s Content

Do you seriously think Google is going to value and trust your website if you have copied or scraped material from other websites? Next time you think about copying someone else’s work, just think about the consequences you would receive in college if you plagiarized an author’s work. YOU GET KICKED OUT.

7. Go with the Longer Domain Registration

This one is optional, but there is a possibility that Google might trust a website with a longer registration length. Spammy sites hope to make it through a year, while businesses intend to be around for as long as possible. Choose what path you’re on and correlate your registration length to that.

8. Use Public Whois

If you’re a serious business, then there’s really no reason to be hiding your WHOIS information. It’s funny because most SEOs think having private WHOIS protects them, but it can actually be a red flag if Google is doing a manual review on your site.

If you’re doing more intense SEO campaigns, just create fake WHOIS. Private WHOIS is NOT a good way to send trust to your site.

How Flow “Trust” to Your Website (Link Building)

I start every single link building campaign with high-quality trusted links. A large percentage of how well Google trusts your website will depend on the types of backlinks you have and the distribution of your anchor text.

Paid Directories

People bad mouth directories all the time, but I’m a big fan. Most directories have crazy PR, domain authority, and trust flow. So by posting your website there, you get a little chunk of this.

trust flow

Some of my go-to paid directories include:

Some freebies with good moderation include:

As I discussed in my anchor text post, I always focus on branded anchor text for directory links and you should too.

Business Listings

Is your blog a business or just for fun? Well, if you’re trying to make money, then it’s a business and you should treat it that way. I highly recommend you submit your sites to popular business directories. Read this article by Hubspot for the top 50 directories.

Niche Relevant “nofollow” Blog Comments

Yes, that’s right “nofollow” blog comments. A spammer would never waste their time with these “useless” links, but they are an integral part of every single one of my link building campaigns. Blog comments are effective for several reasons:

  1. You’re getting a NICHE relevant link .
  2. You’re participating within your industry’s community, joining the discussion, and building relationships.
  3. You’re diversifying your link profile with “nofollow” links and different IPs.
  4. You will get relevant referral traffic.
  5. You’re positioning yourself as an industry expert.

and guess what all five of these things do for your website…? It builds TRUST. Do not skip out on blog comments because you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

Please, do not use your target keyword as your name in the comment – it’s not only spammy, but it makes your business look like it has no clue how to do SEO. In simple words: it’s embarrassing.

Branded Link Building

Google wants brands in the search engine, not one-page trash websites. Branded link building is a perfect way to show Google that you’re serious about your website.

At the very minimum, you need to secure all your brand-based properties.

I highly recommend you use KnowEm – it shows hundreds of social media and bookmarking websites that you need to register for under your brand name. It will also show whether or not you have all your domain extensions secured.

If you’re a serious business then you should secure your trademark name as well.

Remember, you’re not trying to hide the fact that you’re registering for these properties. So don’t use a fake email addresses. Use your actual website email to register.

Here is how a sample property should look:

Press Releases

Creating high-quality press releases and distributing them through the top news websites shows that you’re serious about your brand. Just make sure you’re only using branded and generic anchor text here.

Try SBwire or PRweb.

Authority Links

This is a no-brainer, but definitely easier said than done. One link from Forbes or CNN would send a massive flow of trust to your website. You need to be producing some stellar work before you can graduate to the big leagues and be mentioned by one of these super websites.

One trick to get these types of insane backlinks is to use HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Read this awesome article for more information.

Even with HARO, getting links from sites like Forbes might not be possible right now, but you can still get some really high-quality links from mid-tier websites through guest posting (use our guest posting service).

Guest Posts for Referral Traffic (and some “link juice”)

Google claims to be cracking the whip on guest posts, but that’s because they work. The best way to satisfy Google’s every need and have the algorithm to salivating over your website, is to build branded links in your guest posts.

Bringing me to my next point…

Branded Anchor Text

The ultimate strategy for sending flows of trust to your website is to build a ton branded anchor text. Variations of your brand name should be a large majority of your anchor text profile.

For your guest posts, focus on co-citations (including your primary keywords around the anchor). Although you won’t be getting the full juice of an exact match anchor, you will still be getting a nice flow of relevancy and trust.

branded anchor text

These are exact steps and guidelines I follow when working on ANY website. It makes ranking a breeze when Google believes you’re a BRAND.

So, the question is: are you taking the necessary steps to build trust for your website?

Let me know below along with any comments you have about this post.

P.S. if you liked this post, please share it with your friends!

– Gotch

SEO 101 Course

About the Author

Author
Nathan Gotch

Nathan Gotch is the founder and SEO director at Gotch SEO. Listen in to our new podcast, The SEO Life or watch some of our actionable SEO training videos on YouTube!

Comments

  1. Hi Nathan,
    Really enjoyed this article on google trust, thanks so much for sharing. I began building a website in late summer 2017 and just recently to the “100% site trust” notification. I’m guessing this is a good thing?
    Thanks in advance,
    Mat A.

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