“Does Great Content Gain Trust With Google, or Is Trust Only Gained Through Links?” Google Responds

Does Google even have a trust factor? A Google employee clarifies this notion of 'trust,' and gives some clarity.
SIA Team
October 27, 2021

As you’ll read below, John Mueller, who’s a Search Advocate at Google, says that he doesn’t think Google has a ‘trust’ factor. 

Now, before diving into this, I’d like to first share where I think this notion of ‘trust’ (however it may be defined to be) came from: Majestic SEO’s Trust Flow.

Now, Trust Flow seems to be a valid metric; however, it just seems that Google themselves don’t use that terminology.

The Question

Now that I’ve hopefully given some correct background info, let’s dive into our subject, which pertains to a question that was asked during the English Google SEO Office-Hours From October 22, 2021.

The video below is queued to the 29-minute, 20-second mark, which is approximately when this question was asked: 

“Does a website which includes great content improve in trust with Google, or is that only determined through links?”

John Mueller’s response was:

I don’t think we have a trust factor that we can kind of look at and say, ‘Oh, trust is at, I don’t know, 9 out of 12,’ or whatever numbers you would have there. So that’s kind of…I don’t know.

“It’s almost like a philosophical question at that point. It’s like, does improving the quality of your content overall make a website more trustworthy with regards to Google? I don’t know. There are no metrics specifically for that. I think improving the quality of your content is always a good idea.”

Is This a Game of Semantics?

(I’d like to say that when John says ‘there are no metrics for that,’ of course, he means within Google. Majestic SEO, as I mentioned earlier, has a metric that they give the term ‘trust’ to. Whether or not Majestic’s metric has some correlation to an internal Google metric is something worth exploring.)

Anyway, John finished by saying: 

“But yeah, I don’t know. Lots of things are involved there. And when it comes to trust, it’s definitely not a matter of just links that are pointing at a website.”

It’s interesting that he said ‘when it comes to trust,’ whereas earlier, he had sort of dismissed that notion, saying that there are no metrics for that. 

Of course, a semantic–or word–game may be going on here: we can be talking about the same thing that is given different terminology. 

Aim to Always Have the Best Content and Links

But regardless, SEO (and ‘trust’) is something that should be approached holistically, so great content and good, well-earned links are wise assets to work toward.

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel