Posted by: Chris Horner ( SEO Specialist ) | May 14, 2010

Building Domain Trust / Domain Authority (DA)

The 4 essentials of Building Domain Trust & Domain Authority (DA)

Domain trust is an expression that’s commonly used these days in SEO circles. Widely recognised as being of significant importance few people are able to offer a clear definition of domain trust and how it can influence search placements.

Here’s an explanation of domain trust, what it means and what you can do to build it.


The search engines work tirelessly in the pursuit of relevance. The name of their game is to match queries with the most suitable returns. The better they are at it, giving people simple stress free online search experiences that deliver the goods, then the more people will use them. In other words, the more value search adds to users’ lives the more value they add to their market price.

Google runs hundreds of tests against websites and checks numerous signals in order to establish relevance. One of the most important qualities that a web site can exhibit is domain trust.

The more domain trust you have the better you rank.

Domain Trust – Who links to you?

To a large extent domain trust is down to proximity. Google loves high quality websites. Well designed, well structured web sites bursting with great content and blessed with large numbers of satisfied visitors – these are Google’s trusted domains.

The closer you live to trusted domains, in other words the more direct links your site has from trusted domains, the more trust you gain.

Sites one link removed from the trusted domain network will generate 0.01% web spam. Two or more clicks from the trusted domain network and you are moving in circles that deal in unacceptable levels of spam – levels of 1.2% or more.

Domain Trust – Who you link to

It also matters who you link to. If you link to low trust sites, expect this to damage your domain trust. You’re in bad company. Link to trusted sites to boost your own domain trust.

Reciprocal links directories? Don’t do it. Why would any credible website link to a site that spams? It wouldn’t. Google is wise to this.

Domain Trust – Registration information

Google has been official registrar since 2003. Why? So that it can look under the web bonnet and access important web registration information. Being able to identify the owners of websites  means Google can spot themes. If you own 100 sites and Google spots that 75 of them are spam sites then expect this to be reflected in search placements  through

Domain Trust – User Data Signals

Google collects huge amounts of information about what users do on the web – through Analytics, through the tool bar, free wi-fi and through third party relationships. Signals reveal how naturally a domain is behaving. If the data signals are unusual the domain might well be penalised. Normal behaviour indicates a trust.

Follow Google guidelines, prioritise quality design and quality content and allow domain trust to grow naturally.

By Chris Horner SEO Consultant

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