How to Use Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow Metric

majestic seo

Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow is the king of link metrics in 2018.

I’m going to show you how you can use this metric for analyzing your competitors, for perform link audits, and for link prospecting.

Let’s jump right in.

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Why Trust Flow is King

As it stands right now, Google will likely never update PageRank again. PageRank was a reliable metric while in existence, but it is no longer an option. Open Site Explorer has it’s own Page Authority and Domain Authority metrics, but they are easy to manipulate. Also, Open Site Explorer updates its link index at a snails pace compared to Majestic. Ahrefs uses its own “URL Rank” and “Domain Rank”. Both are accurate, but still can’t match the accuracy of Trust Flow.

What is Trust Flow?

According to Majestic, “Trust Flow is one of the Majestic Flow Metrics, which is weighted by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain.” In Laymen’s terms, Majestic determines the score based on the traffic that flows through a link, the relevancy of the linking site, and the links linking to the linking site.

What is Topical Trust Flow?

Based on our testing, Topical rating is based on the relevancy of links going to any given website. This variation of the metric is incredibly accurate and we use it for every link building campaign.

Competitor Analysis

We use Trust Flow to sift through competitors link profiles to see which ones are worth acquiring. As a rule of thumb, we only pay attention to links that are Topically relevant. So, let’s say I wanted to rank for “weight loss programs.”

Before jumping in and analyzing competitors links, we want to make sure that we’re only analyzing competitors that have topically relevant links. A site that’s ranking without topically relevant links is futile and more than likely fueled by spam. Don’t waste your time looking at these sites.

Step 1: Export SERP Results (Open Site Explorer SERP Overlay)

Open Site Explorer SERP Export

Copy the exact URLs from the excel file.

Step 2: Go to Majestic “Tools”

Majestic Tools

Step 3: Go to “Link Map Tools”

Majestic Link Map Tools

Step 4: Go to “Bulk Backlinks”

Majestic Bulk Backlinks Analysis

Step 5: Paste your links and click “Download Data”
Step 6: Remove unnecessary data

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.37.42 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.38.11 AM

Step 7: Create a filter

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.38.54 AM

Step 8: sort based on topic and delete any row that is irrelevant
Step 9: sort by TF and you will begin your link analysis on the first site

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 8.41.18 AM

The process of analyzing the competitors links is exactly the same as above minus the SERP export. You’re going to download/export the competitors backlinks, eliminate the unnecessary data, filter and sort by TF, and add the best links to your prospecting sheet. We only consider sites with a 10 TF or higher to be worthy candidates for link acquisition.

Rinse and repeat for each competitor.

Link Audits (Penalty Recovery)

Using Trust Flow is a great way to identify toxic links during any link audit or penalty recovery.

Links with irrelevant Topical TF = bad
Links with low TF = bad

When doing the audit, I always start with the links that are topically irrelevant and then move onto links that have low or no Trust Flow at all. The links I find during this process will be scheduled for removal and eventually disavowed if they’re impossible to remove, or are just plain hurting the website. Don’t over-complicate this.

Let the Trust Flow guide you!

Link Prospecting

Trust Flow is an amazing metric for qualifying potential link opportunities. It can also be used for finding relevant guest posts, directories, resource lists, forums, expired domains, or pretty much anything. So, if you’re searching for guest post opportunities, simply toss the sites into the “Bulk Backlinks” option and follow the same steps I listed above to sift through them. You’ll now have an amazing list of relevant link opportunities that are going to drive your rankings up.

You can also gather a list of directories to see if they are worth submitting your site to.

For example, when I first heard about the Abilogic directory, I immediately tossed it into Majestic to see if it was worth getting a link from.

Here’s what I found:
Abilogic Trust Flow

This is a super relevant link opportunity for Gotch SEO and that’s why I submitted to it. Not only that, it’s an unoptimized Follow link, it’s a citation, it allows links to multiple pages, and the page where my link resides is actually indexed.

Believe it or not there are Topically relevant link opportunities outside of guest posts and PBNs. Use the Trust Flow metric to guide you.

Bot Blocking

Keep in mind, Majestic and the Trust Flow metric are not always 100% reliable. People using private blog networks have the ability to block Majestic from crawling their websites. That means when you perform a competition analysis, you will not see the links. Unfortunately there is really no solution to this issue unless Majestic figures out a way to get through the bot blockers. Only a small percentage of people doing SEO use private blog networks to rank, so you may or may not run into this.

PBN Deindexing = Irrelevant Topical Trust Flow

We have extensively tested this and conclude that the #1 factor that gets private blog network websites deindexed is when the content and outbound links do not match the Topical Trust Flow of the domain. For example, a network site with a Topical flow of “Society / Religion” that has content about Garcinia cambogia and is linking out to a website about health/supplements has a very high possibility of getting deindexed.

Obviously Google isn’t using Majestic’s metric, but they are using relevancy as a way to eliminate networks. Private Whois, different personalities, internal links, and whatever other garbage people say “protects” networks is just fluff. The only consistent strategy that protects a network site from being deindexed is to have content and outbound links that are relevant to the domain’s Topical Trust Flow.

If your website is about “health” and all of your PBN sites have “Health” as your Topical TF, it’s nearly impossible for Google to find your network unless you get a manual review.

Moral of the story: if you’re going to use a private blog network, make sure the content, outbound links and Topical Trust Flow are relevant to your money site. Not only does it keep your site safer, but your network will be way more effective.


I guarantee if you start using Trust Flow as your guiding metric, you are going to see some pretty crazy results.

Have some questions about Trust Flow?

Drop a comment below!

Thanks for reading,

– Gotch

DOWNLOAD our swipe file that shows you 7 Untapped Link Building Techniques for 2019 (it’s free).

About the Author

Nathan Gotch
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!


  1. helpful for me. i started create backlink by commenting peoples blog. but can i ask. which is the faster way for me? is the dictionary submission can help?

  2. Great info thanks. I wonder if trustflow isnt also a time “thing” like in real life where it takes time to build trust. Ofcourse it does naturaly but just mean nomather what we do it will still take “the time” to get the trust?

    1. Hey Karl,

      Thanks for the comment. There is a time component because Majestic needs time to crawl and categorize new backlinks or loss of backlinks

  3. Great post! Recently I disavowed all inbound links coming from web directories.
    Do you think is a good approach? I think I dropped a few positions in SERPS after that but maybe is good on long term as I read on most seo websites that directory listings are penalized.. I had my site listed in a few hundred directories not more… most of them from the targeted country.

  4. Great in depth stuff on trust flow. I’ve just created a majestic account and was wondering about the complete ins and outs of trust. Thanks for explaining.

  5. Good article, shame that all the seo tools prices are quite high. Having Majestic, Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush etc at the same time is very costly. I know that having them all gives various benefits, but also causes big confusion (that metrics are different). Personally I use ahrefs and majestic only for TF, CF checks. Would like majestic to have same features as ahrefs, right now they only close on pricing.

  6. Yes Nathan, I have been using Majestic TF metrics and see a serp movement for my important keywords. what about PA/DA Metrics from Moz ? Which one more important ?

    1. Hey friend,

      Thanks for the comment. I recommend using both and Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) metric as well. This is the most accurate way to gauge the quality of link opportunities (without doing an deeper analysis)

  7. Would just like to say I found this article genuinely really helpful. Been looking into our TF as it’s 0, but we have an OK CF – we need to change this pretty quickly. Will be working on quality from the above process this week. Thanks for the advice.

  8. Hi,
    Nathan I fully agree with your take on TF , but the thing that I find difficult to understand is the fact that for a single keyword, domains with different dominant Topics and Trust Flow values rank on the first page. So for example, if I write a keyword it becomes very difficult to identify which topic I should target when filtering. Although you know that a keyword belongs to the health and fitness category but it is not necessary that the pages ranking for it have high TF values in this category. Can you kindly explain this discrepancy? I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you

  9. Great article as always, Nathan!
    The development on my Trust Flow has been bothering me lately and I hope you could give me some insight on that behalf:
    The Trust Flow of a website of mine has been dropping from 30 to 0 in an instant. Only one new backlink has been added that time. The referring website has a Trust Flow of over 50 though.
    How is that possible?

    1. Thank you for the comment Rene. Has your organic search traffic dropped? If not, then I wouldn’t focus on third party metrics.

  10. Thanks for the information. Just started seo and trying to figure all this stuff out. Topical trust flow seems to be quite important, and only becoming more important in ranking.

  11. Hi Nathan,

    Just to draw your attention. You mention your link report service a few times in this article, but the page doesn’t seem to exist anymore. (error 404).

    Nice article by the way!


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