Is There Such a Thing as On-Page Trust Factors (Poll)?

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I have once looked into how Google may be viewing trust and authority where the most important difference is that trust is attributed to the domain whereas authority is attributed to a page. In both cases, the factors influencing Google’s opinion of the site are primarily external: i.e. other sites linking back to the domain / page.

But what if there are also on-page factors making the domain “more trusted”? These factors may include:

  • The official privacy policy present on the site;
  • Detailed contact information (including physical address);
  • Detailed “About Us” page;
  • Proper spelling and grammar;
  • Absence of obscenities and “red-flag” words (e.g. gambling and health niches);
  • Other?

Of course, another (more obvious) factor of trust can solid identification of strong brand (but this is not completely on-page as brand should be also identified off-page):

  • Using brand name in page titles (?);
  • Using brand name throughout the site content; etc

So do you believe these (or other?) on-page factors may be some (minor) signal of trust? Have you noticed the related effect in practice? Do you think making the site look more trustworthy should be part of search engine optimization process? Please share your thoughts!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • Nick Stamoulis

    I def. think that Google is starting to strongly lean towards a trust factor type of ranking. This will allow for some of the fly by nights to go away. Google is just trying to clean up search results.

  • Matt Leonard

    Interesting post, Ann. Two things I believe to be trust related page specific factors are the age of the URL (page, not site) and quality of internal links. With that being said, I do believe there are also inherent differences in talking about assumed page trust between large and small sites. I also think trust comes more into play (significantly) with more competitive keywords.

  • Alan Bleiweiss

    Ann, there surely is a trust factor on sites. In addition to the points you’ve suggested, regarding Matt’s reference to internal link quality – if a page is 90% ads, or how about a scraper site / all duplicate content on most of the pages?

    There are countless ways that trust can and most likely is evaluated at the page level.

  • Marjory

    How about “I don’t know?”.

  • Brennan

    I think Google is weighing trust now almost as heavily as backlinks. I would say everything you mentioned does matter to Google as they do not want black hat SEO’s finding ways to manipulate the system. I have seen a few clients pages go up in ranking after adding a physical address to the footer as well as a privacy policy and terms of use. It is hard to say whether this was coincidence or not but either way it builds trust with your consumers who visit the site.

  • Vern at AimforAwesome

    I’ve thought so since early 2000’s. It makes sense. Having this information is also the sign of a quality site – one that gives a good user experience – so I include it where I can…

  • Lohith

    Yes Google is behind trustworthy websites.I think this post from Ann smarty is sensible.

  • Game

    This blog has been created to share useful information. Thanks and greetings!

  • Tag44

    Thanks for the post and for sharing the resourceful information with us.

  • Jacob Stoops

    I agree. Google definitely uses a trust factor as part of their rankings. Like @Nick Stamoulis said, they are just trying to clean up their search results so that they can display only the most relevant and trusted websites.

  • keyword removed

    I think trust factors are paramount. recent (Penguin etc) Google changes have been trying to improve their index by removing affiliate websites or middle men or websites that are an extension of the same company, ie trying to identify which site are real and which are not.

    However the point made here are too simplistic and miss out the use of language and social media!