Google: Trust Associations & Memberships Are Not Used As Direct Ranking Factors

Nov 16, 2018 - 7:41 am 2 by


Since I posted about the the story the other day that Google does not use the BBB, Better Business Bureaus score or reviews as well as other third-party trust sites in their ranking algorithm it caused a lot of interesting and unexpected debate in the SEO industry. John Mueller from Google was asked again and he said they are not used as direct ranking factors in Google search this morning.

This is from a Google webmaster hangout where he was asked about other trust related sites and certificates and he answered it in a more generic way about all types of "associations and memberships" that offer these trust level signals. He said it is "not something that what you would use as a direct ranking factor."

He did add that it might be an "indirect" factor because if someone looks at these trusts sites and sees you are trusted, maybe they will be more likely to visit your site, maybe link to it, maybe they are more likely to trust your content because of it. But Google does not use any of those scores from these trust sites in their algorithms.

It is the same argument of saying nofollow links in social media help with Google rankings. The links are no counted at all by Google because they are nofollowed. But maybe someone will see your content via the link, read it, share it and link to it without a nofollow on their blog or web site. But the social media post is not counted by Google, it is the link you got indirectly on the blog or web site that may be helping you.

Here is what John said:

I don't know,

In general, I suspect these kind of associations and memberships are not something that what you would use as a direct ranking factor.

So that's something where I suspect you have more kind of an indirect effect here in that if other people trust your content more because they realize that you're actually taking part in these organizations. And these organizations are maybe organizations that don't just accept anybody who who randomly want wants to join the organization, then that's something where you probably see an indirect effect there.

I don't don't know if we would use something like this as a direct ranking factor. I think that could be kind of tricky.

And with regards to whether or not it could be a ranking factor in the future? I think that kind of goes in the same direction, in the sense that these kind of organizations and memberships with these organizations, I think are generally a good thing to help move the ecosystem forward. But it's not necessarily something that we would say means that the content is somehow more relevant or it's better content when we would show it in search results.

So from that point of view I don't think that this is something that we would use as a direct ranking factor.

Here is the video embed:

You can scroll back a bit to listen to the full question if you like.

I did specifically ask John Mueller this question on Twitter and all he did was "like" it and didn't respond:

John also liked this tweet:

Forum discussion at Google+.


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