Trust in the brick and mortar business world is earned by consistently delivering upon your promise to your community of clients, vendors, employees and peers within your niche. The phrase “I give you my word” and the gentlemen’s handshake was the way business was done years ago. Trust is simply defined as “Having faith in others and believing them”.
Is your business trustworthy? Does a lack of trust cost you?
If a business owner fails to deliver on his promise, trust is lost and this information is shared with other prospects and business owners in that community and a small business may never recover. Integrity and authority are bestowed upon a business that consistently earns the trust of his/her community. Often financial success and increased brand recognition are the results.
Almost 25% of the Google Ranking Algorithm is represented by the trust and authority of the host domain or www.yourwebsite.com.
Registration information (i.e. MSN.com) about the history of your domain is a primary resource of data that is used. More trust may be offered to a public registration than a private registration. Maintaining a physical address on your website also helps to establish trust. The hosting information, integrity of the data, security that is in place to protect the user and that business’ willingness to protect the user’s data all speak to the trustworthiness of a host domain.
Is there a testimonial page on your website? If users need a quick answer to a question, is there a FAQ page or knowledge base that is easily searched for the answer? Obviously the domain age is VERY important. Choosing a reputable hosting service is critical and you should avoid moving your domain often as longevity with your hosting service also plays a critical role in establishing trust. Even the most reputable organizations are at risk to those with malicious intent.
Over 7 weeks ago, the hosting service we employ for this website was infiltrated with malicious code and this code attempted to damage 1000’s of WordPress websites. The infiltration was identified immediately and the hosting service company was quick to respond although much of the damage had occurred…with respect to domain trust. After cleaning up all of this code, I insisted upon a communication blackout for the next 7 weeks to ensure our reader’s would not be impacted in anyway as we worked through the cleaning process. Be selective with who you choose to host your website and you must do your due diligence.
Who Links to You has a great impact on trust. This often goes hand in hand with who you are willing to link to as well. TrustRank is a term coined by a study conducted by Stamford University outlining a method to analyze links on a website designed to separate useful pages from spam. Web spam pages are often created to mislead search engines to achieve higher rankings. Purchasing “spammy” links or trading links (reciprocal linking) from a less than reputable link seller would negatively impact your TrustRank score.
Calculating authority uses a different set of metrics all having to do with your inbound, outbound and navigational link quality and structure. There are several Link Popularity and Analysis Tools available to help you get started. Link analysis often requires a trained eye to recognize valuable links vs. Spamdexing. PageRank analysis assigns a number to web pages based upon its weighted value. Links are pointing to Website “B” to improve overall user experience due to a recognized authority of website “B”. Therefore a link from this trusted online resource has more value to you and your PageRank.
Fresh unique content development designed to inform and educate a reader should be your primary SEO tactic. It can be positioned strategically on your website and publishing on more authoritative resources that offer a link back to your primary domain and in each instance it should be keyword rich, optimized with strong relevant titles, descriptions and headers. By adding value to the web community in this way, we can also gain the trust and authority we seek in a more natural way. You should never try to mislead the search engines with duplicate content scraped from someone else’s website.