Google on Trust and SEO

Filed in Google, SEO by Matt McGee on December 9, 2011 5 Comments

Unless you’re really new around here, you should know that trust is a big deal to me. I’ve written about it on several occasions and continue to believe it’s the best strategy for achieving long-term business success — both online and offline.

So it was with some interest that I watched this recent Google video in which Matt Cutts answers the question, “What does Google mean when it talks about ‘trust’?”

Matt basically explains that “trust” is a catch-all term that Google uses, not a specific ranking signal — there’s no “trust rank” score, but it’s similar to a website’s overall reputation and authority.

I put Trust at the top of my SEO Success Pyramid way back in early 2008, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I were redoing that image today.

SEO Success Pyramid

Google doesn’t offer any specifics about how to earn trust in that video, but that image above is my explanation for how to do it. I also asked a couple dozen peers how they think businesses camn earn trust in this article: Why Trust Matters & How To Earn It.

As you start making plans for 2012, keep the idea of “trust” in mind. And make sure that everything you do online and offline is done with the idea of gaining the trust of your customers, potential customers … and the search engines.

Comments (5)

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  1. Trust is a great name for a marketing company: Trust Marketing. I used your pyramid in a pitch and it worked out well. Thanks.
    Trust is to build a site that is appealing to your customers and profitable for your business, I guess.
    Lets say that trust is the Superbowl of marketing. The team with the biggest budget will have the best chance of winning the Trust, but a team with talent and ingenuity can steel away the prize. That is how I think of it.
    Cutts reminds me of Bernake at times.

  2. Jim Rudnick says:

    Matt, great piece here lad….and I wish that there actually “was” a TrustRank factor….course, the black hats would undoubtedly game that too…

    I remember a great post by Tim Ash on just this thoughts too…and he said as you did, that one must continually practice and preach that Trust can be accumulated only by actions…positive superb actions!



  3. Lance says:


    Good points, well made. There are too many businesses out there – small and large – which neglect the trust issue completely. So good to see it getting some air time here.

    Something I’m working on now – what fun 😉

  4. Richard says:

    Good post, agree with last comment many businesses neglect trust, this is either because they are not aware of the importance or the fact that gaining trust getting links etc is harder and more time consuming than just having a website and adding pages.

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