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Does Google TRUST You?
This probably doesn’t come as a surprise but Google owns more than 20,000 patents and they’re registering around 10 new ones every day.
Among them, we have this patent from 2006 for “search result ranking based on trust”
What a shocker! To decide whether you should be ranking or not, they are looking at whether your site is trustworthy.
Today we’re going to look at some of the factors they are likely putting into consideration when making this decision.
Time to learn: 5-10 minutes
Impact (1-10): 9
Tools required: None
What Are Trust Signals?
For anyone who has ever put up more than one website, you’ll likely notice that you put different amounts of effort into them, depending on how seriously you took the project.
When we start our more important businesses, such as Smash Digital, some of the first things we did were to ensure we own all of the social media handles, have a registered entity, and register with Google My Business.
Do we do the same when starting a new affiliate website or side project? Hell no, it takes too much time.
Now if you were Google… A technology company specializing in algorithms and analyzing over a billion pages – do you reckon you could see a pattern with this?
Now, I’m no mathematician but I’m going to say this is fairly easy for them to do.
Even for ourselves, just by looking at a website for less than five seconds, we can get a pretty accurate gauge of whether they’re legit or not.
So what can we do to prove to Google that we’re legit?
8 Easy Ways to Increase Your Trust With Google
This is going to sound obvious but to sum up this whole topic – you need to act like a real business and show that to Google.
Here are some suggestions on things that may help you with this and fuel some additional ideas – in no particular order:
1. Social Media Presence
Social media is dominating the modern world. I see entrepreneurs registering their businesses social handles before even figuring out what they’re going to sell, buying a domain, or setting up a website.
This is one of the biggest red flags in my head.
I challenge you to find some truly successful companies that don’t have any kind of social presence.
This doesn’t mean that you need to focus on getting a million followers or churning out content like a madman.
Simply register them, link them to your website, fill out the profiles properly, and share something every now and then.
2. Google My Business
If your goal is to get visitors from Google, does it sound like it may be a good idea to create… a business profile with Google?
For most real businesses, especially local ones, this is one of the first things they do when getting their website up.
A super easy way to instantly get more search visibility, give Google information about what your business does, and show that you’re serious about this.
As always, the more information you can provide on your profile, the better.
It doesn’t take long, put in the work.
3. Business Citations
While business directories and citations have become slightly less popular with the growth of social media, they still matter.
Get your business set up on any relevant business directories, both for your niche and locally.
This might include things like:
- Apple Maps
- Capterra (software specific)
- Clutch.co (agencies)
- Angel.co (tech)
The same tip applies as for Google My Business – take the profiles seriously and fill them out with unique information.
Not only do these count as a trust signal and help grow your backlink profile, they provide:
4. NAP and Consistency
NAP stands for name, address, phone number – the essentials of what you’d expect from a business you’re giving money to. A massive signal of trust.
You need to have these present on your website and you also want to use them on your various profiles – social, citations, Google My Business, etc.
The other important thing is to keep them consistent. Always ensure your address is written in the same exact way, the phone number follows the same format, etc.
This is especially crucial for local businesses.
5. Brand Mentions
While backlinks (links from other websites pointing to yours) are the main ranking factor in Google, they are not stupid.
Unlinked mentions of your company and brand are just as important and often serve as justification for other ranking signals you may have acquired, such as links.
Is it not weird that 300 websites have linked to your website with the words “buy laptops online” but the name of your company has never been mentioned on the internet?
To me, that’s quite a clear signal of some sort of manipulation.
I’m betting Google will agree with me here.
While having a secure website is a ranking factor in itself, I think it ties in pretty well with trust as well.
Real companies value the security and safety of their customers and that’s what using HTTPS gives you.
Hell, Google Chrome even gives you a massive red warning when trying to access un-secure websites now – it’s clear Google cares about this.
Yet again, I encourage you to try and find a legitimate business that does not follow privacy law.
You need to have these key trust pages on your website:
- Terms of Service
- Any necessary disclaimers (e.g. affiliate)
- A contact page
8. Who Do You Link To?
Legitimate businesses are there to help their visitors find solutions to their problems, not just promote their own products.
If the only sources of information on your website are your own articles – it’s a red flag.
Real authorities have references to various case studies, statistics, or research.
You should be doing the same.
This is not a definitive list but it should be enough to get Google to trust you to a large extent and perhaps even inspire additional ideas.
What else do you think Google looks at to figure out if you’re trustworthy? Send us your theories – whether proven or wild! 🙂
That’s all from me for this week.
I’ll see you next week with yet another actionable SEO strategy.