Do citation flow and trust flow metrics really affect your google ranking? Short answer is: absolutely. If you look at the top results in Google you’ll see they all have high citation flow and trust flow scores. That’s the only proof I need to prove that citation and trust flow metrics matter to Google.
But first let’s backtrack a bit. What does citation flow and trust flow mean? Who invented these terms? And why do I need to know about them?
Trust Flow and Citation Flow Overview
According to Majestic, the creators of these metrics, they define Citation Flow as:
“A score between 0-100 which helps to measure the link equity or “power” the website or link carries.”
What Citation Flow means in plain English is more backlinks = higher score.
Trust Flow on the other hand is defined by Majestic as:
“A score based on quality, on a scale between 0-100. Majestic collated many trusted seed sites based on a manual review of the web. Sites closely linked to a trusted seed site can see higher scores, whereas sites that may have some questionable links would see a much lower score.”
What Trust Flow means in plain English is quality backlinks = higher score.
You can see TF and CF scores below:
Why Trust Flow And Citation Flow Matter To Google
How does Google determine which sites to list at the top for any given search term? Their computers look at tons of different signals and attempts to determine the best results in order. We can’t be too sure of what exact signals it looks for, but one of the major ones everyone agrees with is: backlinks.
The more backlinks you have, the better. Generally speaking. The reality is that it’s not just about the quantity of backlinks you have amassed, but at the quality of the links too.
Every backlink your website acquires is interpreted as a recommendation, in Google’s eyes. It can be thought of as a review on Yelp, a thumbs up on a Youtube video or a personal recommendation from a friend.
You want to have a lot of recommendations (links pointing to your site). But you also want them to be quality ones.
That’s because not all recommendations are the same. On Yelp, 10 one-word reviews saying “great” are not nearly as valuable as two or three in depth reviews with pictures.
Likewise with backlinks, lots of links from link farms are not nearly as valuable as a backlink from an authority site.
Therefore to help improve your Google ranking, focus on acquiring a large quantity of high quality backlinks.
Determining The Trustworthiness Of Your Blog
How can a machine possibly determine how trustworthy and valuable your blog is? We know they look at both the citation flow and the trust flow. But they also are interested in their relationship, or ratio, to each other. We can call this the Flow Metrics.
To determine the trustworthiness of a website, you take the citation flow and divide it by the trust flow.
Example 1: If your citation flow is 80 and your trust flow is 40, your ratio is 2:1.
Example 2: If your citation flow is 90 and your trust flow is 9, your ratio is 10:1.
Which of those two sites is more trustworthy? If you said example 1, you’d be right! You need to aim to keep your ratio as low as possible. How do we do that? Well by acquiring more high quality backlinks. No, how do we do that? Oh! I’ll tell you in the next section.
How To Boost Your Citation Flow
1. Guest Posting
It can be difficult getting backlinks to your blog posts. You think they’re great, but still nobody is linking to you.
Well, when it comes to backlinks, in order to get positive results, sometimes you need to outreach for opportunities.
Look for guest posting opportunities and take advantage of them, especially if their sites have a high trust flow number.
You can use Google to search for “(your topic) guest post” or “(your topic) write for us” to get some sites who accept guest posts.
2. Get Your Competitors’ Backlinks.
One surefire way of climbing Google search is by getting your competitors’ backlinks. To do this, you must first use a tool like SEM Rush to monitor your competitors’ backlinks.
Then contact the webmaster of each link and ask them to change their link to your site instead. If you’ve created a better resource, you’re more likely to get some positive responses.
3. Link To Others
Sometimes, you can flatter someone enough to give you a backlink. If you add links to other bloggers in your blog posts, they will receive a notification (via the trackback feature in WordPress).
If the blogger appreciates the mention, they may go to your blog and comment and may even link back to you in a future blog post.
How To Boost Your Trust Flow
1. Look For .gov and .edu Backlinks
When it comes to trust flow, the quality of your backlink matters. And when it comes to Google, they love .gov and .edu sites. The reason being that these sites are government or college sites who typically link to only reputable sources.
2. Guest Post On Relevant Industry Leader Blogs
Guest posts from high domain authority sites are great, but they need to be relevant to your niche. Do a Google search and find other bloggers who are doing great in your niche. These are the people you need to contact to get your guest post published.
3. Don’t Forget Internal Linking
You can increase your TF and CF with a good internal linking strategy. If you have a blog post which has a high TF/CF score, it can pass some of the juice to the pages you link to within that post.
Therefore, make sure your blog posts are linked from the homepage, then make sure you link to your other relevant articles within each your blog posts.