Trust Factors in SEO

Trust is a critical factor in Google’s search algorithm.  How does your site stack up?  Are you trustworthy?  This week, Greg talks about the ‘trust’ factors that you can use to improve your overall position in the search results.

Transcript follows

So far in this series, we've talked a lot about details. But for this episode, let's talk big picture. Do you trust me?


Whether or not you trust me, I have to build a site that Google trusts. So what we look at in terms of "the big picture" is more than just the on page SEO details that we've been talking about. Things like your keywords, your title, your heading tags, your content, your content length.

We're also looking at signals that come from how your site behaves. There are a number of factors like this, far too many to go over in just a single video. But we can cover some of the big ones.

So how do we build trustworthiness on a site? Well, it's a combination of factors. How long your domain is registered for, how long your domain has been registered, cause as you can imagine, a site that's been around for ten years will likely have more trustworthiness associated with it because Google's got data than one that's only been around for 6 months.

Similarly, if you exercise your ability to register a domain for 5 years, you're showing more potential value in your own business over that period than somebody who's only registering if for the next year. So by taking a domain registration and pushing it out to what is reasonable for your business, you can actually improve that signal to Google for trust.

There are other technologies that can support this. Do you have a proper sitemap? That sitemap allows Google to crawl the site better. Do you have secure socket layer or SSL enabled on your site? 

Over the last 6 months, we have seen a huge change from browser vendors saying that they are going to start telling users that if a site has forms or any way to interact, that your data is not secure and they are actually telling people your data is not secure. By enabling SSL with self-signed certs through most of the server providers out there you can add a measure of security for your customers and your clients and your visitors that also builds that trust. Do you have a privacy policy? A simple file like a privacy policy on your site that says hey this is how we are going to use the information that we collect from you, how we are going to use that information where we're going to use that information even by telling them that you are going to use it in some perhaps unusual way, you're going to get a benefit because you've disclosed it. And that makes you more trustworthy.

The concept of trust is no different than a brick and mortar store with a customer that walks through the door. How do you convince somebody that you are trustworthy?

Well, you do it by your actions. You have a privacy policy or a customer service policy or quality statement you have a location that provides that sensibility and that sense of trust. It's the same. The web is exactly the same and your page is exactly the same.

If you look shady and shifty, you probably are. So think about it, does your business have its address listed on the website. Allot of small business have this problem. They operate out of a basement or a garage or a shed or whatever. It doesn't make them a less viable business; however, from the perspective of Google, they don't have an address because these often don't put their addresses on the website. My advice put it on the website. Tell them where to find you. But, if you are concerned about someone dropping by, put "By Appointment Only' after the address. Because your business registration through your provincial or state or federal agencies will also have that address because it's a business address. If it doesn't jive, and you've got 2 apparent locations for your business well that seems kind of shady. That's the way Google approaches it.

It's all about being consistent, being forthright, and making sure that everything you do on the site ultimately is to the betterment of your users. If you found it useful, give us a thumbs up. And if you'de like to see more videos like this one and be notified when they become available, hit the subscribe button down at the bottom.

Thanks for watching. I'm Greg from MTek.