TrustRank: How to get into the Google TrustBox

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  • August 9, 2007

Every 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
links.

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 feed.

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.

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