How Exactly Do Google Measure Trust & Authority?

I have been told that Google use trust and authority to measure each website, but what exactly is trust and authority, how are they measured and how can I improve my site so it has the trust and authority that Google want to see?

Deeho Replies:

That’s quite a lot of question, but here goes…..

Trust and authority are important ranking metrics for Google. Returning reputable results is vital if the search engine wants to continue to remain as the most popular online search tool.

Google uses several different metrics to determine how trustworthy and reputable your site is, including your Brand, your sphere of influence online (and offline), your Google PR, which other trusted sites link to you (and how they link to you), social media reputation (likes, shares, retweets etc) and several others.

The objective of their collective algorithms is to establish if your site, content and company can be trusted. The level of trust attributed to your website will greatly help your rankings.

Examples of Trusted, Authority Sites

Highly regarded, trustworthy sites include; Wikipedia, Amazon, eBay, Apple, National Press, and so the list goes on.

google look for authority and trust indicators

As a business owner, your task is to instill your website and brand with the signals of authority and trust that Google values so that your content becomes reliable information that Google can present to others with confidence.

Anything that you do to give Google any doubts about the validity of your content will knock your authority and demote you in the rankings.

A simple guide to the level of authority that your site has is your Google PR (Page Rank). Ranked from 0 to 10, this is a simple gauge of the authority of the sites that link to you. The more high PR sites that recommend your content to their readers, the higher your PR score will be.

On its own, this isn’t enough to let you rank well, and PR is actually more important for the sites that you link to rather than for your rankings, but it is a factor and the higher you can make your PR, the more weight and authority your site will carry.


Google is increasingly wary of sites that try to manipulate their Google PR score. Passing page rank for the sake of passing page rank is becoming harder and harder with Google issuing manual penalties on a regular basis.

Unless your link looks like a genuine recommendation from an authority site to your high quality content then it can cause you more harm than good.

The Metrics Of Authority

1. High Quality Content

2. Links from Trusted Domains

3. Social media interaction

4. Brand authority

5. Google Page Authority

Collectively these attributes signal to Google that you can be trusted. The more you can do to provide these indicators, the less Google will doubt you…. and trust is more about removing doubt than it is about creating ‘trust’.

I think it was Robert De Niro in Ronin who said, “Wherever there is doubt, there is no doubt.”

Google is suspicious of everyone. Think of it as a paranoid search engine, thinking that we are all trying to pull the wool over its eyes. (In the past, many of us were!).

Your job is to remove that doubt from Google and present it with high quality content, well presented, and ‘recommended’ by other trusted sources.

How To Build Trust & Authority

Make a start by producing regular high quality content that offers value to your readers. Google loves new content if it adds value to your topic or niche, so make sure it is good.

Link to related content on your site as well as other authority resources if and when applicable, embed quality videos and images.

Next, share your new content across your social networks. This will drive some initial traffic to your content and you will hopefully pick up a few shares, likes and retweets along the way.

If you are publishing your content on WordPress, then linking to other WordPress content (with open comments) will add a trackback link on their site which will also get the ball rolling for your link building.

Google mistrusts ‘orphan’ content (pages with no inbound links) so your pages need to have links pointing at them.

If you create valuable content then over time (if you’re prepared to wait) you will attract quality links from trusted sites.

Currently, many webmasters are actively looking for authority content to link to, so in many instances, they will search in Google for specific content and link to one of the top few results.

If you create new content on a regular basis, you will soon rank for long-tail searches and begin to attract organic links. This is what Google want to happen, but it takes time.

Speeding up the process will create more, high value links faster, but is against Google’s terms and conditions, so has to be done with care.

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