TrustRank: How to get into the Google TrustBox

  • 0
  • August 9, 2007

Google TrustboxEvery website has a ceiling which limits the quality of the links they
can attract. For example BlogStorm is likely to attract links from
webmaster forums and people who blog about blogging or internet
marketing related topics but is very unlikely to get a link from the
BBC. If your site has lots of Adsense and low quality content you
might get links from some less popular bloggers but it is unlikely you
will be featured on somewhere like TechCrunch.

Equally you will find that commercial sites without informative
content are unlikely to attract links from the blogosphere. Very large
commercial sites such as mobile phone networks and manufacturers are
highly likely to get links from major news sites because the companies
are so huge that anything they do is newsworthy.

The aim of this post is to help you raise your sites link ceiling,
helping you attract links from a higher calibre of website by
improving your sites linkability.

What is TrustRank

Once a website earns enough TrustRank to be thought of as an authority
site by Google it will rank for almost anything. Lucky owners of
trusted sites can add a new blog post or page and find that it ranks
well on Google within days for even competitive queries. TrustRank is
the reason you see Wikipedia articles in the top 10 for almost any
query on Google.

How do I get more Trust

There are two main factors involved in creating an authority site –
quality backlinks and the age of the site. Since the age of the site
is out of our control we need to focus totally on building trusted

The first factor I look at when starting a new linkbuilding campaign
for a client is the design of the website. If your site doesn’t have a
good design and an easy navigation system it will be much harder to
attract links from other websites. Investing in a stunning design
without lots of adverts is a great way to encourage other sites to
link to you.

Next I will analyse the site to see if it offers something useful. If
the site is the online home of an offline business then the company
can probably attract links without a remarkable website, provided the
business is popular and offers a good service.

Affiliate websites and blogs don’t have this option so they need to
make sure they offer remarkable content and some interesting tools
before they even begin asking for links. If you don’t know what
content and tools your visitors might find interesting then you
probably need to do some market research and try to get to know your
niche better.

Anther important link building factor is your about page. Some sites
need to know a lot of information about a website before they will
link to it. If you can reassure people that you are a legitimate
business you will attract many more links in the long term.

Once the website is perfect in terms of stunning design and
interesting content we can start the task of promoting it.

Building trusted links is slightly different to normal linkbaiting in
that you can’t just rely on social media to get your content seen. Try
to use methods such as emailing selected webmasters introducing
yourself and calling some businesses on the phone to speak to them.
Remember that some sites will only give trusted links to websites they
trust. If you decide to send an email make sure that under no
circumstances can it be interpreted as a link exchange email. Don’t
even ask for a link in your first email. The idea is to get the
webmaster to read your site and remember it or subscribe to your RSS

Think outside your niche

A lot of people think that links have to be from related sites if they
are to help your rankings. Whilst this is true in some cases any link
from a trusted site will help your TrustRank, even if the site is
totally unrelated
. A good tactic if you have a good linkbait idea that
doesn’t quite fit your own site is to launch it on its own domain and
publicize it as much as possible for a few months before 301
redirecting it to a folder on your main domain. Sometimes releasing
content on a brand new site will attract more links than if you had
released it on your blog.

Be newsworthy

News websites are not going to suddenly decide to link to your website
unless you have either released an interesting piece of content or
your company has done something newsworthy. If you can’t think of
something then try searching archives on Google News to see if you can
recycle some old news items with a modern spin.

Contacting editors

Once you have created something remarkable then you need to contact as
many editors as possible. Most large websites have contact email
addresses for news submissions so you won’t have a problem finding
people to contact. Remember that they get hundreds of emails per day
so your email will need to be concise and to the point.

In the past few years Google has placed a huge amount of weight in the
trust of a domain and having an authority site pretty much guarantees
a steady stream of traffic
. How have you gained authority status in
Google? Have you any more tips?

Patrick Altoft

About Patrick Altoft

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events.

  • sp

    You hit it right on the money man. I am not sure if i would add anything to this post.

    Maybe, if you can start with an older domain, that should give you a bit of a boost.

    Or if you have a lot of domains laying around that aren’t doing anything, 301 them to your new site to give them a boost i guess.

  • Jenny

    Great article. I never knew about trustrank. I’m totally gonna work toward it.

  • katyzzz

    Good site, Google enhances it.

    I shall have to return when I have more time.

    It looks good, enough to induce me to come back but I am mostly looking for feedback links.

    Good work.

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  • Zath

    This is really interesting, some good pointers and definitely something to bear in mind when trying to build up links.

  • MH

    Great post. Do you know if trackbacks from spam sites that people try to leave have any negative effect even if you don’t approve them?

    Thanks for any info.

  • Sushilver

    It’s nice post and enough content to understand how we can build our trust rank.

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  • Clarence Sears III

    I love this site! Great website on getting info on page ranking for my site to increase in ranking which is

  • maszam

    Build quality links can be so hard for most webmasters and It takes long time. Can you explain how to build backlinks safely and and quickly

  • Jay Perkins

    Is this suggesting the employee sets up an account to use dedicated to the one firm, and then to surrender that account over to the employer when/if they leave?

    Think you’ll find LinkedIn doesn’t allow multiple accounts? Also, I can’t agree with the connections made are property of the employer and not the employee, try applying that to other walks of life outside of social media… Would you restrict who you can call if they had used an office phone to talk in the past?

    Really interesting case to read about, thanks!

    • fi dunphy

      Hi Jay, thanks for reading – glad you enjoyed. Yep, HR Mag does seem to be suggesting this, but it just doesn’t sit right… If I was employed at a company that had these rules in place, I just wouldn’t see the point of bothering with LinkedIn… It’s a professional tool, so what would be the point of surrendering your profile and all the connections you’d made at the time when you’d need it most (when you left a job)?

      I suppose that this kind of thing really is going to have to be judged on a case-by-case basis… I can’t see any room for the application of a blanket rule that wouldn’t end up being unfairly weighted in the favour of either the employee or the employer. Watch this space…

  • LinkedBusiness

    Oh, what a sticky web…

    I’m a firm believer that an individual’s personal LinkedIn profile belongs to the individual, not the company they represent. Employees should be willing to pass along relevant company content to their network through LinkedIn, but shouldn’t be required to do so. In addition, employees should balance the amount of company content with other content that they source from non-company sources. After all, the profile is supposed to showcase how well-rounded you are, not just that you can pass along company press releases.

    LinkedIn Groups, however, will depend on the branding of the group. If branded with the employers logo and data, and maintained during work hours, the group clearly belongs to the employer. Misuse of the group contacts should be forbidden.

    That being said, if an employee knows how to effectively network and build personal relationships with group members, the group members can ultimately become connections in their own personal network over time.

    • fi dunphy

      Yeah it’s a really tricky situation, this one – simply because we’re talking about company collateral that’s gained and managed through a personal profile. This will be a really interesting case to keep an eye on, and I’m sure it won’t be the last of its kind!

  • Mark Gardiner

    Surprised that this hasn’t had more coverage, so thank you for sharing! I imagine this will be a big issue for a number of sectors, but particularly the recruitment companies. However, I understand that LinkedIn’s terms and conditions state that accounts are “owned” personally, by the individual, although difficult when those accounts interact with other “groups”. A legal minefield.

    • fi dunphy

      For sure! It’s a really strange one, because I can see the issue from both sides. I personally wouldn’t be happy for a company to effectively ‘own’ my profile and connections just because I was managing its LinkedIn company page… But, of course, giving employees this power can leave it open to be abused. This LinkedIn issue is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to the Internet at legal issues – the next 20 years is going to be very interesting..!

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