Google's Cutts: No Such Thing As Trust Rank

Dec 6, 2011 • 8:34 am | comments (10) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google TrustThe concept of trustrank dates back several years but is it something Google uses?

Not according to a video from Google's Matt Cutts, at least not by name. In the video, Matt said, "It's not that we have something specifically called trust rank." Google has a trust factor, but it is made of several ranking algorithm factors, which may be referred to "trust."

Here is his video:

Here is the transcript:

0:01 Today's question comes from Canada.
0:03 And the question is from JZ Becker, who wants to know, can
0:08 you talk a bit about ranking signals like trust?
0:10 We hear these mentioned from time to time by Googlers, but
0:13 there's no official documentation available from
0:16 Google on the topic.
0:18 Great question.
0:19 Trust is sort of a catch-all term that we use.
0:23 So PageRank is the most well known type of trust. It's
0:27 looking at links and how important those links are.
0:30 So if you have a lot of very high quality links, then you
0:32 tend to earn a lot of trust with Google.
0:35 There's other signals.
0:36 There's over 200 different signals that
0:37 we use in our ranking.
0:39 But you can kind of break them down into this notion of sort
0:42 of trust and how well you match a particular query.
0:45 So how topical you are.
0:47 What's your information retrieval score?
0:48 Just on the merits of what the user typed in.
0:51 PageRank is one of these trust-type algorithms that's
0:54 trying to figure out--
0:55 we use several words--
0:56 reputation, trust, authority.
1:00 And it's not that we have something specifically called
1:03 trust rank, or we have something specifically called
1:06 authority rank, or something like that.
1:08 We're basically just trying to say, in the general scheme of
1:11 things, how much reputation, or how much are we willing to
1:15 believe that this is a high quality page, or a high
1:17 quality site?
1:18 Those sorts of things.
1:19 So in general, what you want to have is a
1:21 very reputable site.
1:23 But you also want to have a site that's about, or a page
1:25 that's about, the topic that the user typed in.
1:27 So in an ideal world, you've got both.
1:29 It's very high on the reputation scale, but it's
1:31 also exactly what the user was looking for in terms of typing
1:34 in and finding a match for what they were typing.
1:37 So we use a lot of different words like
1:39 trust, reputation, authority.
1:40 And PageRank is a specific example of
1:44 those sorts of things.
1:45 But we mean it in a more general sense.
1:47 It's not, typically, a specific algorithm.
1:49 It's just trying to figure out how much-- if a regular user
1:52 saw this, maybe without even seeing a query at all--
1:55 how much would they consider it a high quality page?
1:57 How much would they consider it really useful, as far as
2:00 being able to answer whatever questions that
2:02 particular site was about?
2:04 Hope that helps.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit: trust image on ShutterStock.

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