With the growing number of pages and websites created purely to scam the search engines, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that your site is viewed as trustworthy. Particularly when seeking backlinks or looking for sites to link to.

TrustRankis a concept developed in an attempt to combat spam in web searches. As highlighted previously in our post on spammers taking over the search engines, this is seriously affecting the search engines’ ability to provide relevant results. It would be impractical if not prohibitively expensive to review all sites manually, using humans, so TrustRank proposes a method for an expert to identify and assess a core set of sites, find reputable sites that link to those, and then suggest to the search engines which sites are reputable and non-spammy.

The thinking behind TrustRank is reasonably intuitive, although some may find the mathematical formulae daunting! The Trustrank white paper is worth reading just to understand the concepts behind the types of approaches being taken by the major search engines when assessing sites and assigning PageRank, indexing and so on. It also indicates what impact certain actions may have on how the search engines view your site, and is an interesting view into the internal machinations of the search engine ‘brain’.

The TrustRank assigned to a site attenuates to other sites linked to it, so by finding sites that are viewed with a high TrustRank and seeking backlinks, as well as outbound links, you can get (reduced) Trustrank juice passed to your site. This is because there is no guarantee that a page which is several links away from a trusted page is a good page – no assumption can be made that that is so without human examination of the links, so the TrustRank attentuates the further away from the original page assessed. It can also be split between linked pages, and just considering these two factors alone gives an interesting slant on strategies you should seek to employ and avoid when developing links to and from your site.

If you haven’t read the white paper and are involved in SEO, it would be a very good idea to make time to grasp the concepts outlined within it.

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ClickThrough is a digital marketing agency, providing search engine optimisation, pay per click management, conversion optimisation, web development and content marketing services.