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 😛 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.

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

Nathan Gotch
Nathan Gotch

I’m the founder of Gotch SEO and my mission is to help you get the SEO results you’ve always wanted. Check out my new SEO case study. It shows you how we increased organic search traffic by 342% using a stupidly simple method.

Join the Conversation

  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.

  2. I read many articles about the SEO. This one talks about the real deal. I realized I made some silly actions about building the trust of my site. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Great points for gaining that trust from Google. I think the brand anchor thing is really important and of relevancy, since it sounds that Google wants to give ‘brands’ the advantage factor over ‘non-branded’ ones in the search engine ranking landscape.

  4. Hey Harsh,

    Thank you for the comment! Unfortunately, that’s not enough information for me to give you a proper diagnosis

  5. Hey,
    My blog is about a month old and I have done all work for SEO. And also, When I am searching using my title keywords in Google, I got my blog on the 2nd page of Google result but, My blog is sometimes appearing and sometimes not appearing there. Why is it so? I have 7 posts in my blog.

    I am waiting for your reply.

  6. Is it not risky to pay to directories? I read that sites can be penalized to practice it. 

  7. You got very interesting content with best article , very useful and helpful , really appreciate thanks for informative information !!!!!

  8. It’s actually a cool and useful piece of info. I’m satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    Very creative, I like it!

  9. Wow, just found this site. Tons of great info, piles of SEO posts. It will take me a few weeks to read all this stuff. The post above shows a greta way to build white links that build trust to your site. Thanks a lot.

  10. Hi Nathan.
    Your website is my only source for SEO and I’ve learned a lot from it, thanks a lot!
    I have a question about brand building, for exact match domains.
    should I be careful with anchor text and use mostly naked urls on all of the brand 2.0 properties You mentioned?

    also, does the word count for the brand pages on weebly, or wordpress matter?

  11. I’m sure that my site is getting less trust from google !!! i do research about the solution many times already !!! but it doesn’t work ….. i hope ur methods can fix it !!! thanks for sharing this !!! appreciate it sir !!

  12. I dont have budget for Best of the Web, but i can manage, its really worth!
    Should i go for that or These three?

    Web World Directory
    Jasmine Directory
    Family Friendly Sites

    Please suggest me best you suggest, so i do them for my website, you can check under my name!

    Thank you 🙂

  13. Errick,

    Thanks for the comment! I use KnowEm and Lock My Brand to identify properties I haven’t secured. I outsource this task to Lock My Brand

  14. Hi Nate,

    Great post as always. I am curious if you use Knowem to identify web properties to build yourself or do you actually use the service that Knowem provides as an SEO tactic or at least to create your brand online? So I guess the question is would you use Knowem services to help build your brand online or do you manually do it?


  15. I am so happy i came across this. I just started an online boutique I get some traffic but not a lot still haven’t received any online sales. I’ve been going google crazy trying to figure out ways to gain customers from online. I actually had a call yesterday from someone who viewed my page and told me I was on the right track pay him 36 an hr and he can get my site good traffic 0_o I can’t afford that but he did say he could get google to trust my site so I googled that and here I am…I am. going to read more of your articles and I will definitely be a new follower THANK YOU

  16. I come back and read this every now and then to make sure I didn’t forget anything the first time. I’ve registered SO MANY accounts for all this branded stuff, and really… If there was one tip I wish you would have included it would be USE AUTOFILL MAGIC. That tool has made my life so much easier for registration and account management 🙂

    So after several months, thanks Nathan for the great content and advice.

  17. This is i guess pretty much a complete guide on creating trust. Though you have forgotten to include google authorship? Does it not that matter ? Specially if its mainly a single person blog.

  18. Really useful post, Nathan.

    After a YEAR of not creating and adding ToS and Privacy Policy links in the footer of my site due to being afraid that they’ll waste a bit of PageRank (because even nofollow’ed ones do), I finally created and linked to them today. 🙂

    Cheers and keep up the good work,

  19. Hi Adam, I am extremely sorry for my late reply on your comment! It slipped through the cracks.

    There definitely seems to be some correlation, but Moz metrics are extremely easy to manipulate. Mass spam can increase DA and PA pretty quickly.

    You’re taking the right approach, but high metrics don’t guarantee rankings. I outrank what some people may view as “authoritative” websites all the time with sites that are PR N/A and have only 10 backlinks.

    More than likely, your competitors are using their anchor text more effectively than you, have more relevant links than you, and potentially have stronger links than you. If they’re using a blog network, then it will be tough to tell.

  20. i just wanted to point to you that site like won’t give the complete backlinks your competitor is having it could that you are seeing just 20% of his link profile
    they just help to have a look and get an idea about your competitor
    just keep up what you’re doing

  21. how can Google recognize a brand name before getting listing on Google what if 99% of my links were brand links will that be okay or not

  22. Hi Gotch. I discovered your blog from a google search of anchor text distribution and boy! I’m lucky to find your site. You have very valuable information on your site regarding SEO.

    One thing i did not see you mention is Moz Local. I have used it couple of times and it is a big money saver and makes it very easy to evenly distribute your NAP information across many platforms.

    Your new regular visitor 🙂

  23. Thanks for the info, Nathan! In your opinion, is Moz trust close to what Google may be using? Using Open Site Explorer and comparing metrics, I have a higher DA and PA than my competitors, more internal links, more external links, more linking root domains, and more linking C blocks. However, my site is lacking in the MozRank and MozTrust area. My competitors have 90-95% of do follow links, while I’m at 20% follow / 80% no follow. My PR is 0 while the competitors are at PR2.

    I often post blog comments on niche blogs as you recommend. Have I went a little too crazy building no follow links and should I lay off on that and move focus to obtaining high PR do follow backlinks?

  24. haha good question Jack. You might want to use something more scientific like “penis” because Google will consider those the same. Don’t worry about that man. Keep it scientific and you’ll be good. I’m working in the “STD” niche and I never had any issues.

    Thanks for the comment!

    – Gotch

  25. Hey Nathan I wanted to ask you something I wasn’t sure of.

    I like to make micro niche sites, and this one in particular was reviewing a male enhancement product. I used no adult pictures, and besides my written dialogue (“this product will help you get a bigger dick” type of thing) every thing else is PG.

    I linked to the site using one of my best health pbn sites, that I plan on using for many other health related sites I make. I made the article on my PBN seem medical. Like bloodflow issues to penis kinda thing.

    Basically I am wondering if this would somehow jeopardize my network as it is an “adult niche”? I figured I would be okay because there were no pictures, and my site is simply a review, but I am now a little worried.

    Do you think this would have any negative effects on my PBN,and what could happen?

    As far as the MNS itself, its about to crack the first page so I hope it wont cause any problems.


  26. Thanks for comment Hai! I wouldn’t stress over G+’s. I never use them for ranking a site. When it comes to social media, I’m always going to say it doesn’t hurt to use it, but it won’t help you rank a site (at least not yet).

  27. Martin, thanks for the comment.

    – I do sometimes, but if you’re not managing anchor text psychotically like I do, then it might safer to use “” or a URL variation. This way you can save your EMD anchors for more powerful links.
    – Definitely man. Sending a PR link to a new site is actually an effective way to get a site indexed haha I do this all the time and never had any issues. Just don’t go crazy. 1-2 links max

    Let me know if you have any other questions

    – Gotch

  28. Thanks Gotch for your excellent post! I’ve a small misunderstanding about the affect of Google Plus in SEO. Does it help to increase Keyword’s ranking? I see many people in my country spamming G+ by exchanging it together. (Example: If i have a link and i need to increase the number of G+ for it, i click G+ of your link first and then you click G+ back to me in my link).

    My keyword increase on Google without having a lot of G+ (about 20-30 G+). Sometimes, i see people trying to have as many G+ as possible (about over 1 thousand G+) but their SEO still fails.

    Want to hear your idea, Gotch.

  29. Hey Nate I like how you mentioned directories because I have used them with good results.

    – will you still use one if you have an EMD site, or would you want to use one?

    – also, I see you talk about poking sites a lot. Just wondering, is it okay to send a site a PR link before it gets indexed in google?

    Usually I wait for the site to index, see its on page say 8#, then hit it with a PR link and watch it go to page 4#. This time however, I sent a PR link a few hours after publishing the site and am just wondering if it matters at all for SERP rankngs? Or if it all eventually will balance out anyway?

    Probably over thinking I just assume there might be a way to make links work better if timed properly.

  30. John, this is an awesome comment man! Thanks for putting in the time to post this and for asking some really good questions.

    It seems like your process is pretty solid, but the website not ranking within the top 100 right away can mean a lot of things. First of all, how competitive is this niche? If the keyword is long like “how to blank blank blank”.. then it should be ranking pretty well right off the bat. This is the major downfall of killing yourself writing a 3,000 word article because of issues like this. You were right when you said I have experience in this because I used to write epic articles on niche sites and be pissed when they wouldn’t rank. Now, I just create silos before ever placing content haha

    One thing I have noticed in my experience, is that silo pages usually rank easier than long articles because they are super targeted, the KW density is high, and the keywords are placed in the most powerful positions. Since your article is so long, it may be making it difficult for Google to properly understand what keyword it is targeting.

    Here’s what I would do:

    • 1. Increase the KW density and place the main keyword in more strategic places (in case you haven’t done this already): title, first sentence, header tags, image ALT, and last sentence. Try to get it up to at least 1%
    • 2. Still follow the silo page techniques: relevant video, outbound authority link, internal link
    • 3. If you have already done these things, build some exact match anchor text and see if it moves after a week or two.
    • If you did all of the steps above and it still doesn’t move, then I would just build a silo page and hit that with links.

      If it doesn’t move THEN, then your website might be broken or you’re in a very competitive niche lol

      Hope this helps man and let me know if you have any other questions.

      – Gotch

  31. Hey Nate I wanted to ask you something thats new to me. I pre-apologize for wall of text.

    I put quite a bit of work into a niche site, followed your silo structure only with content off the bat. Only 3 pages, but the homepage was 3k words, other two pages 1k each.

    I did my keyword research prior, LTP shows KC scores of 28, 22, 20, for these terms. Theres also yahoo answers and wikihow in SERP for each kw. Crap niche sites are ranking with low DA.

    Anyway everytime I make a new site and post my pages they usually land between pages 5-8 on SERPs prior to ANY link building.

    This time however, only one page has ranked at spot 99# and the others arent even in the top 200 of google. Its been about a week. I have never had this happen before and dont want to link build before I know if my on page seo is botched or not.

    The keyword’s are like “how to blank blank blank”, so because of that its hard to get a 1% density on a 3k article. So I had a 0.33% exact density initially on 3k homepage article, and 0.5% on the two 1k articles.

    I actually thought I was under-optimized because of this, and stuffed the term in there to reach 0.5% exact kw density on 3k article, and 1% on the 1k page articles.

    No such difference in rankings though.

    I am just wondering from your experience, if a site doesnt rank in the top 100 of google prior to any link building, does that automatically mean only one of two things — over-optimization or under-optimization?

    The site is clean, hand reg brand name, so its not riding an old penalty. The ONLY thing I did different here from other sites was, I dropped the F-bomb twice (lol), and followed beckers most recent advice on LSI terms. I added about 7 additional LSI keywords to each article.

    While these LSI terms contain partials of the primary kw’s — I hardly believed 7 partials in a 3k article or even a 1k article optimized initially at 0.33% and 0.5% could trigger any penalties.

    Sorry for super long question and over-killing your comment box. I am at a loss as of why this happened and don’t have prior experience to reference and solve this issue with. If all else fails I plan on buying a new domain, stripping the article of all LSI terms and trying to rank solely for the primary kw’s, and hope for the best.

    Just wondering an experienced SEO’s opinion as I’m sure you must have ran into something like this.

  32. Hi Gotch,

    In your previous article, you told us about Social Monkee. is it a good and useful tool?

  33. All right, I see. Though they are still empty. Does this mean that Goggle will be pleased simply by having links on your site that are labeled as PP, TOS and so on? Because this is something I have seen being done across other pages, especially landing pages.


  34. Hey Nathan,

    I just came across your website a few days ago and I have been really digging your content! Thanks for sharing so much valuable info! However, concerning this post, one question really comes into my mind. Namely, where are your Privacy Policy and TOS pages for this site? I agree they are an important trust factor but I simply cannot seem to find them on this site!?



  35. Hey mate ugh I hate wasting peoples time, but I used a fake email address as I thought it was going to be displayed.

    Thanks friend

  36. Hey Nate great article mate

    This is kind of a noob question but wanted to ask an expert.

    Do you have any tips/typical protocol for appropriate Site Title and Tagline?

    I’m building an affiliate site with a PMD domain.

    I take it you want your primary keyword in site title, but what about tagline? Will you put it in there too or use some LSI terms?

    And uhh I guess will you copy those same 2 fields into the All in One Seo portion of title and tag as well?


  37. Hi Nathan,

    great post.

    Just want to confirm about branded web 2.0’s.

    All your branded 2.0’s would be called gotchseo, no variations.


  38. Excellent post! I’m always looking forward to your new content. And Gotch didnt let me down. You made me know more about SEO. I love the way you’re sharing your knownledge and experience. Keep it up, Gotch!

    I’ve read your article again and again.

    Respect you, GotchSeo 😉

  39. Hi Abdul,

    thanks for the comment and good question. Yes, I create unique content for every property just explaining what your website or business is about. These properties are a representation of your business, so don’t use spun content or anything low quality.

  40. @Nathan !
    Can you please let me know how can i create boomarking / brand properties such as you mentioned above “” its fine i did it. But problem is that. Will i need to add different content on all sites which i am registering / creating for Branded link building? Please explain. I hope you got my point…

  41. Thanks Thomas!

    You could potentially see movement, but doing something like that certainly wouldn’t hurt because it’s a legit branded anchor. But personally, if I’m trying to get a keyword past the toughest spots, I focus on dense anchors. That’s assuming you’ve already taken the steps to diversify your anchor text profile

    – Gotch

  42. Hi Jack, yes that’s exactly what I do. If my money site is about blue widgets, I theme the PR sites all about blue widgets. Exact match has the greatest power if you have diversified your anchors properly. Sometimes it only takes 3-4 exact match anchors to rank a site if you have properly diluted the anchor text. Let me know if you have any more questions Jack, thanks!

    – Gotch

  43. Another awesome blog post Nathan well done!

    If your hovering around the top 5-10 position for your key term targeting an inner page, would you see any positive movement by paying for a paid directory listing using your brand name pointing to your homepage?

  44. Ahh thanks, yea taking the middle ground and diversifying them seems a good idea. You say for more competitive terms niche targeted dominate…does this mean you ocassionally will totally re-brand a pbn to match your niche site?

    You kind of also hinted at my next question, I take it exact keyword in site tagline and exact post title anchors to money site provide more boost for rankings then?

  45. Jack, thanks for the great comment! Becker only shows his throw away PBN sites to the public. I have never seen the ones he protects, but I’m sure they’re good. To be honest, I don’t have a pattern. I have a group that resembles news-based websites, I have personal identity websites, and I have niche targeted websites. For more competitive terms, the niche targeted websites dominate.

    My biggest advice to you is really plan it out. Don’t just aimlessly buy domains. Buy one and make it super high-quality before moving onto the next.

  46. Really Great Tips bro! I really know some new things and sure will implement them as soon as possible and make Google loves my website!

    Really a Great Thank to you 🙂

  47. Great post Nathan! A little off topic but the google is watching you picture reminded me to ask you this.

    I know you have PBN’s and I’ve been doing the same, aquiring a few lately. In regards to setting them up, I am just wondering how you personally do it?

    Do you re-brand them 100% to match your money site, and then use exact or partial keyword anchors for the titles of each post you slip your links into (becker does/did this, from some of your prior stuff I assume you were an infinitum member, so you know how obvious his example PBN’s were)?

    Or do you make the sites resemble authority like sites with an about page, tons of content, fake persona, and have very broad and seemingly unrelated titles and they coyly slip your links into the articles using link injection (like hayden)? Basically building a real site that you really have to dig to tell its a PBN.?

    Im sure becker can buy 10,000 more PR sites if his obvious PBN’s get slapped, and im sure Hayden has 20 VA’s who can build out these powerhouse stealth authority sites. So its hard to tell which is the best route for a single person like me.


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