Just wanted to share a few effective SEO tips for increasing the degree of search engine trust your website can garner. Most people make the mistake of hording link juice or “not linking out” to other sites from their website in an attempt to preserve their domain and ranking authority.
However, did you know that nothing is further from the truth? Search engine trust is a metric that determine how valuable in the link graph (the collective paths that connect websites) where your website fits in that hierarchy.
Hence, the more links your website shares with known hub sites (that have garnered authority), the closer the symbiotic relationship between your website and those hub sites becomes. Links are what connect the web and to not link out, it to cut your website off from their vital traffic and potential relationships they can reciprocate.
In our organization, we internally dub this “ranking by affinity” or also refer to this as “the grappling hook” effect when building the necessary facets of a robust link profile for websites.
By linking out to authority sites, search engines view your site as an authority. Sure, the notion is not rocket science, but from an algorithmic perspective (and search engines do scrutinize from within and without from the top level down and from the outside in) to determine (a) what content and context your site projects (b) how you link to yourself within your website (c) who you link to and (d) if your website is another hub or destination for the topical information contained therein.
By linking out to known hubs and sites of value it sends a clear signal to search engines (as well as human readers) that the value may not always be contained within your site, but you are (in the best interests of the web) passing others along to even more enriching and valuable destinations.
As a result of this you “Get a Gold Star” and A+ for playing well with others, not to mention your site gets earmarked as a team player (which is a precursor to search engine trust).
The next logical step is (a) to determine what type of a link profile you have and (b) extend it to include more trusted sites to reflect your website as (a backlink) to that authority site. You can improve rankings either way (by gaining backlinks or being a backlink) which is why you have to watch trackbacks (if you have a wordpress blog) from bad neighborhoods trying to link to your pages and leech of your vital link juice (ranking factor).
This selective process starts with discovery, then as usual, implementation. In closing, here are a few SEO tactics you can use to find, identify and implement when you are considering linking out to find which sites have the golden shield of authority that you would like to “hobnob with” to see if by algorithmic osmosis “some of their trust rubs off” and your website gets a boost…
The main consideration is not to confuse trust with rankings; rankings are a byproduct of trust, not always the other way around.
So, based on how worthy your website is viewed in the grand scheme of things (both within your niche or vertical as well as on the web at large) greatly impact whether your site gains the ability to rank itself (as an authority site and / or hub) or if it is just another website “narcissistically so into itself” that it forgot that the web is a big place, and the larger the footprint, the more diverse array of traffic you can attract and facilitate.
So, don’t be stingy with outbound links, just be selective. The benefits of linking out “without a fear of a penalty or losing ranking factor” are nothing compared to the benefits of developing page level and domain authority (when all elements are considered).
Two commands to keep in mind:
In Google, just type www in a search box, for the ranking algorithm to show you which sites in Google’s index are considered “the most powerful” in chronological order.
To add the aspect of “using a keyword” to parse the index and find ideal sites to link out to (*or acquire links from), simply use…
www AND services – to implement a Boolean search operator, combined with a keyword preference to find sites with authority for the keyword “services”.
Simply change the keyword to find resources pertaining to your topical focus.
www AND finance – will return the most powerful sites in the finance sector (according to the index).
www AND finance * (o find the strongest sites with a wild card / most popular random secondary keyword)
www AND – “finance” (to find the strongest sites in exact match combined with www)
www AND – * “finance” (to find exact match wild card modifiers with main keyword to broaden the search).
You simply change the keyword to find authority sites / and or hubs based on the keyword utilized.
Also, when you find the site in question that is an authority, you can then use the link from domain command in Bing to then see who the most powerful site is that they link to (and link to them or try to get a link from that site) to cement your position as an affiliated hub site.
Using Wikipedia as an example of the domain, the command in Bing is
Linkfromdomain:Wikipedia.org (link / syntax is active to show example)
From there, you will see which sites are considered “the most powerful” hub or destination sites (as revealed by search algorithms) linking from the domain name in question.
When it comes to SEO and distinguishing your website in search engines, tactics are what separate the novice from the experts. This tactic is ideal for finding ideal sites to expand your link profile to, don’t abuse it by trying to find site to populate spam.
Keep in mind that SEO tools are only as skilled as the one using them, but information is power. In this instance by using a few simple search operators you can built trust for any domain by linking out, (which is just as important and getting inbound links).