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How Google Might Differentiate Between Trust and Authority

How Google Might Differentiate Between Trust and Authority

A very insightful thread at WebmasterWorld discusses how Google might distinguish trust and authority notions and how they might influence the algorithm.

In a very summarized manner, the discussion resolves into the following:

Trust versus Authority

  Trust Authority
Is based on… A hand picked "seed list" of trusted domains" (see also "Trustrank") Overall quantity and quality of inbound external links
Role in the algorithm Protects you from "Google-bowling" campaign against your domain Matters for rankings
Influence Query-independent factor Query- and topic-dependent factor
Attributed to Domain A page

This theory can be interpreted in several ways. We can differentiate between trust and relevance where trust is attributed to the domain whereas relevance comes from having backlinks from sites that have similar content who also have backlinks from relevant sites.

Other useful notions to consider are hubs and authority sites: hubs link out to a lot of authoritative documents and authority sites are linked to by a lot of authoritative documents.

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