Trust Flow, along with its brother Citation Flow, are the new kids on the block.
Created by Majestic SEO, Trust Flow has joined PageRank as a super important SEO metric.
Some experts even say Trust and Citation Flow have topped PageRank as the most critical measures of a website's value.
With that being said, business owners and digital marketers should understand Trust Flow (TF) and how to improve this metric on behalf of their own SEO.
What Is Trust Flow?
According to Majestic SEO, Trust Flow is a score between 0 and 100 based on a website's quality.
When creating this metric, Majestic manually scoured websites and collated a (secret) list of trusted "seed sites." These "seed sites" form the foundation for TF, and the closer a website is linked to a seed site, the higher its TF score will be.
You can use the Monitor Backlinks Free Backlink Checker tool to check any website's Trust Flow—and thus if it's likely a seed site. You can also see the TF of any added competitor.
For example, I found that Facebook has a near-perfect TF, meaning it's likely a seed site. A backlink from Facebook would then benefit your TF score.
Why is this metric referred to as "flow"?
Well, as sites are linked to each other, trust "flows" through them. Below, you can see that trust originates with Site A (a seed site). As Site A is linked to Site B and so forth, Trust flows through the websites and each respective TF metric diminishes.
Like I said above, the "closer" a website is linked to a seed site, the higher its Trust Flow will be.
Typically, a Trust Flow score of 50 and higher is considered great. (Seed sites are likely in the 80s and 90s.) A score between 11 and 49 is average, and a score of 10 or lower is considered poor.
Lastly, part of the TF metric is Topical Trust Flow. According to Majestic, Topical Trust Flow "shows the relative influence of a web page, subdomain or root domain in any given topic or category."
This metric shows in which industry a website has authority and helps users find influencers within specific categories. Topical Trust Flow is also scored between 1 to 100.
How to Use the Trust Flow Metric
Now that you know what Trust Flow is, let's talk about what it can do.
Firstly, TF can help you easily recognize and analyze your competition.
Because TF is pretty straightforward (high number = high-value site), it's easy to scan competitors' scores for those that actually pose a threat. With the Monitor Backlinks tool, you can see both TF and Topical TF scores for all competitors. Gathering competitive intelligence in this way can help you identify new keywords and potential link opportunities.
You can also use the TF metric to prospect and evaluate new linking opportunities. Whether you've identified a potential link through your competitive analysis, found a possible guest posting opportunity or stumbled across a new domain to purchase, researching the URL's TF will give you a simple metric with which to evaluate the link.
Using TF is also valuable when identifying toxic backlinks and recovering from linking penalties. When auditing your backlinks, look for both low Topical Trust Flow and Trust Flow scores. At best, these sites are doing nothing for your SEO. At worst, they're hurting it. Any TF scores below a 10 should be removed (as shown on the Monitor Backlinks dashboard below).
Lastly (and most important), TF can help you gauge the success of your own SEO. Because Google has stopped updating PageRank, Trust Flow is now one of the most accurate metrics of site value, relevance and search engine performance.
So, actions that improve your TF inherently improve your search engine rankings.
Consider this: If you're looking at other site's Trust Flow scores to evaluate for backlinking opportunities, other websites are probably doing the same to you. Because of this, your main goal should be to increase your TF.
The core of this is in building authoritative, high-quality backlinks. Quality is much more important than quantity and contributes much more to TF. Here's how to get started.
1. Connect with influencers
Connecting with influencers is important when building authoritative backlinks. As you research influencers, ensure they're active in your niche or industry.
Start by searching your main keywords and jotting down the top bloggers, journalists and personalities that fall within the results.
Then, head to the Free Backlink Checker tool to verify their Trust Flow and to confirm that their Topical Trust Flow falls within your industry.
Reach out to these influencers to share your business, provide great content or ask for a backlink. There are plenty of ways to politely ask for backlinks (and build valuable relationships while you're at it).
2. Guest post on high-quality sites
Guest posting is another great way to build authoritative backlinks and gain TF from seed sites into your site.
Similar to when researching influencers, when you find a guest posting opportunity, run the domain through the Free Backlink Checker tool to check their TF.
If the site has a score of 10 or less, it wouldn't be worth your time to create content for posting. Secondly, ensure that links allowed in guest posts are followed. If the site doesn't follow guest-posted links, these backlinks won't do anything for your TF.
Note: Nofollow linking opportunities aren't completely useless. They'll expose your business to a new audience and help build your branding. So, don't completely discount them!
3. Link internally
Linking to internal pages is a simple way to increase your Trust Flow and increase your SEO.
As you build content and/or a blog for your site, ensure that it contains at least five links to other internal pages. A strong homepage will also contribute to the Trust Flow and SEO of all pages linked to it.
Not only does internal linking contribute to SEO, but it also helps your visitors easily navigate your website.
4. Continually audit backlinks
Continually auditing your website's backlinks doesn't necessarily contribute to your Trust Flow, but it does keep your score high and healthy.
As your audit your site's backlinks and disavow toxic ones, your TF will remain high. This high score will communicate to others that your site is high-quality and worth linking to, thus boosting your SEO.
See how that works?
Auditing and disavowing can be a lot easier with a tool like Monitor Backlinks. Monitor Backlinks aggregates your site's data onto a single dashboard that allows you to keep an eye on your backlinks, competitors and keywords, and your website's overall activity.
It also provides a detailed analysis of your backlink activity, proactively evaluating all metrics (including Trust Flow) and identifying spam links. With a single click, you can disavow any toxic backlinks.
Final Thoughts on Trust Flow
Trust Flow is one of the most important measures of site value, quality and search engine performance.
It can help you identify potential linking opportunities, evaluate competition and audit backlinks.
Increasing—and maintaining—your Trust Flow can also contribute to your SEO, site performance and candidacy for linking opportunities.