How to Build Website Trust and Authority


While Google’s Panda update has many different aspects, one thing is certain: Google is looking for signals of trust, authority, and real branding. They are looking for signals that thin content mfa sites and thin content affiliates will have a hard time building. If you are a website or business owner, what are some thing you can do to send these signals to Google? In this post I’ll give you a few ideas.

Speaking
Public speaking is a huge step in showing Google that you are a trusted and authoritative source on the web with nothing to hide. How does Google know you are speaking? They see your business name and domain on the web. It doesn’t matter if you are speaking at your local library, chamber of commerce, lions club, seminar at a community college, or industry conference. All of these events will have a page where they list who is speaking. Now, hopefully these pages will give you a link but, even if they don’t, just a citation of your domain counts in my opinion. Now you do have to balance and justify the time spent preparing, traveling, and speaking, but if you do this regularly, the value adds up over time.

Help a Reporter Out
Hopefully you have heard of HARO (help a reporter out). It’s a daily email list of reporters looking for industry experts to quote or interview for stories they are working on. You probably aren’t going to come across any requests from New York Times or Wall Street Journal reporters, but small- to medium-sized regional, industry specific journals, magazines, newspapers, or websites still have value. Again, getting a link is ideal, but even a citation of your business name and URL is IMHO a good thing

Blogger linkup
Blogger linkup is another daily email newsletter. Every day, an email goes out of blogs looking for guest posts and bloggers with guest posts looking for websites to accept them. Now, I will be honest, this can be a bit hit or miss as some of the sites are a bit dodgy and on the MFA side of the tracks, so take a look before committing to anything. Try to think outside of the box here. If you run a travel website and see a request for guest articles on a healthy eating website, write an article on eating healthy while traveling. Some of the biggest mistakes I see with guest articles is re-using the same bio box over and over and creating an unnatural focus of inbound anchor text. Don’t go there, ok?

Educational links
Let’s get one thing clear–links from a .edu website aren’t worth more because they are on an .edu TLD. They are worth more because, generally speaking, .edu websites have more trust than other websites. Wordstream published an excellent post on creating science projects and giving them away for schools and libraries to use. If you want links from .edu websites, create content that .edu websites would find valuable. Hire a premium research style writer and produce content that is considered valuable by professors, teachers, or expert content curators. Put this content on a different template than your normal content, strip out the ads, strip out the commercial links, and strive to make this content as encyclopedic as possible. Here’s a bonus tip: create content and release it into creative commons. Put it in a PDF that anyone can download, build upon, and re-use as long as they credit you. Try to embed a link to your website in the footer of the document, or at the bare minimum have your URL listed in the document.

Press Releases
Hopefully you are doing press worthy things on a regular basis, and you are putting out press releases about it. For example, did you create 12 science project PDFs for schools about fresh and salt water marine ecology for your online aquarium supply store? That is a press worthy event. If you get a guest blog post on a “green” or “Eco-friendly” blog, mention/link to it there too. This is how you make the most of content that cost you a lot of time/money/resources to create. Don’t obsess over whether the press release site passes link equity or not (it usually doesn’t), but think of the links as pointers. If your press release is picked up and your URLs are linked, the search engines will crawl through them. That’s why I strongly recommend including 1 or 2 deep links in a press release.

So what are some takeaways on this post on how to build website trust and authority

  • Concentrate on getting links or citations on other websites with higher trust and authority that are legitimate sources for news, information and research.
  • Engage in public speaking as often as is feasible. Try to make sure you have a speaker bio with your website listed or linked.
  • Look for opportunities to speak with or be interviewed by reporters about your area of expertise. Try to have your website listed and linked whenever possible.
  • Look for guest blogging opportunities on quality or upcoming websites.
  • Create content that educational facilities would find valuable and let them know about it.
  • Create content for educational use and distribute it under creative commons. Make sure to link or mention your domain in the PDF you distribute.
  • Do press worthy things on a regular basis and issue press releases about them. Try to include deep links if possible.
  • Look for ways to combine these efforts whenever possible so you can get the maximum value.
  • Don’t think of this as something requiring a lot of concentrated effort. You need to do these slowly and continually over time for maximum benefit.

photo credit: Shutterstock

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