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Using Trust Rank in Your Link Building Campaign

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.

Evaluating TrustRank

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

  1. High quality pages don’t link to low quality or spam pages / websites or blogs.
  2. Google’s TrustRank reduces as it gets further away from the Seed page.
  3. 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.

Disclaimer: The post is completely based on individual thoughts and SEO Services Group bears no responsibilities for the thoughts reflected in the post.

Filed Under Link Building, SEO
4 comments on “Using Trust Rank in Your Link Building Campaign
  1. vikiraj says:

    Now I know the new technical word "TrustRank" and its importance from your post. Thanks for sharing the information Chris.

  2. tabsfiroz says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the valuable information on Trust Rank.

    But you have also stated that
    “The increase or decrease of PageRank has nothing to with ranking of a website” and “PageRank is generally calculated by analyzing and calculating various backlinks pointing towards a particular website.”

    I thought rankings has an effect with the number of backlinks of the website along with other factors and if PR is calculated by the various backlinks then how come it does not affect the ranking?

    Whether both your first and second statements that I have quoted either contradict each other or am I missing some thing here?

    And if so, then the people out there who do link building for their websites well they would have eventually recognized it by now and would have stopped, but I don’t see the process of link building getting affected anywhere and each day the number of backlinks of website keep growing.

  3. Chris says:

    Hi tabsfiroz,

    Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog post.

    This is a good question. Actually I am not totally devaluing or nullifying the effect of backlinks. Links from Trusted sites will definitely have value and affect the rankings also. That’s why they invented TrustRank. TrustRank is based upon links from trusted sites. My point here is the PageRank is not the ultimate factor to decide the ranking for the site. It is simply proportional to the number of backlinks to the site. If you get more links to the site, it will only increase the PageRank of your site but it doesn’t mean the sites that have less backlinks or having only few backlinks can not beat your competition or in otherway there is no rule for sites that are having more backlinks should come up top in rankings. It is clearly evident from the search results, rankings are dependent on various factors other than merely number of backlinks. It is the main reason search engines look for other factors to combat the spammeres. Hope I have explained this clearly.

  4. tabsfiroz says:

    Hey Chris, I admit that I over exaggerated in the last para of the comment about link building but I have also stated saying that link building is just one of the factors when it comes to ranking but what really got me was your statements that I quoted previously.

    Thanks for your time and detailed reply.

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