TrustRank is a link analysis technique described in a paper by Stanford University and Yahoo! researchers for semi-automatically separating useful web pages from spam. In the early days, Google PageRank ruled and it was considered as the main factor for deciding the authority of the site and rankings. Likewise the keyword density was with Altaviasta. When the PageRank pattern revealed, spammers used various techniques to achieve higher-than-deserved rankings. So search engines had to change the important factors involved in ranking algorithms and come up with numerous patents on variety of topics so that there is no clear road map to ranking algorithms for the spammers to achieve good rankings in the search engines.
Search engines play an important role in allowing users to find relevant information of their interest. In such an effort the researchers at the Stanford University and Yahoo! proposed a semiautomatic methodology of determining the trustworthiness of the pages. Since it is too expensive to evaluate large number of pages, this method calls for selecting a small set of seed pages to be evaluated by an expert. Once the reputable seed pages are manually identified, a crawl extending outward from the seed set seeks out similarly reliable and trustworthy pages. As a continuation of this methodology, they defined a new methodology called “Spam mass” which is the measure of the impact of link spamming on a page’s ranking.
Some common ideas that TrustRank is based upon
- High quality pages don’t link to low quality or spam pages / websites or blogs.
- Google’s TrustRank reduces as it gets further away from the Seed page.
- If you want to get a powerful TrustRank you need a link directly from the seed page.
The evaluation of TrustRank and to finding out seed pages are explained clearly by the pages “Combatting WebSpam with TrustRank” released by Stanford University and Yahoo.
The difference between TrustRank and PageRank
The increase or decrease of PageRank has nothing to with ranking of a website. PageRank is generally calculated by analyzing and calculating various backlinks pointing towards a particular website. Google has complex algorithmic formulas to calculate PageRank of any given website and it is not the key factor in determining website rankings whereas The TrustRank helps to determine actual rankings of the sites. It is generally based on Age/History of the domain, Quality of backlinks and content of website.
TrustRank and link building
It is clearly evident that a link from the human edited Yahoo or DMOZ directories is trustworthy than a link from an automated directory that accepts every site that submits. Getting links from bad sites will reduce your sites TrustRank. Inbound links from sites that have blatant tactics such as hidden text, cloaking etc will most likely reduce TrustRank of the site. Links obtained from highly trusted seed pages will increase the TrustRank of the site. You get “Reverse TrustRank”. if you get links from spammy sites. Hence we should restrain getting links from bad sites.
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