What exactly is Site Authority? The Trust Factor...

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What exactly is Site Authority? The Trust Factor...

Site Authority is mentioned a lot in the SEO world and is highly considered within Search Engines Algorithms, but what exactly is measured to determine the authority of a website? The simple answer is anything that gives you the Trust Factor (things that show Google your website is trusted by users).

As we all know Google uses an algorithm (a type of mathematical formula) to determine where you will rank in the Search Engine Result Pages, and to determine the Site Authority, Google will use another algorithm using the signals that will highlight if your website is trustworthy or not...

What are the Trust Factors?

Obviously nobody knows exactly what the signals are that formulate the site authority, but we can have a pretty good guess.


How long your website has been established for:

The longer your website has been established, the more trusted you will be. If you have had a website that has been reliable and consistent for the past 10 years, obviously you will be trusted more than a new start website.

Over time Google can see if your website is providing relevant content and if you are reliable (e.g. your website never goes down and/or doesn’t spam).

User Preferences

User Click preference on search engine results page:

On Google’s results page there are ten websites for you to choose from, if your website is position 3 and users are clicking on your website over the top two positions which could be due to things like a clearer Title Tag or a more informative Meta description. Google will see this as a sign of trust. This in turn will lead to a rise in rankings over time.

Google is all about providing the user with the most relevant information, if your website isn’t keeping up-to-date with this it will suffer.

Usage Metrics

Time Spent on a page by a user upon Search Engine Referral:

If a users chooses the website that is position one within Google but once clicking through realises that the information isn’t relevant to what they were searching for or not worthy (possible out-dated), the user will back up quickly and chose another option on the search results page.

If the users aren’t spending a decent amount of time on a website, Google will see this as the website not being worth or trusted by the users so will lower its rankings.

Links and shares

How many links you have to your website:

Links still carry a lot of weight in SEO, mostly due to the fact that it helps Google determine which website can be trusted. Having websites linking to you means that those websites think you are worthy enough for them to link to your website, meaning they trust you.

Link building isn’t just about quantity; quality links can take you a long way. For example if your website has 50 links from reliable websites that have been established for years, you will be more trusted than if you had a 1000 links from shady, unreliable websites...

How many social media shares you have:

This is a more modern trust factor that allows Google to see who is sharing your content around the web. If lots of people ‘like’ your website or ‘retweet’ your articles it shows that they are worth for the users.

SEO Consultant