Off Page 101: Understanding Topical Trust Flow

If you’re up to speed, then you may have heard that Google officially shut down PageRank from the public on April 18, 2016. This means webmasters will no longer have access to their PageRank score. When PageRank was introduced to the public some years ago, it became the metric used to assess the overall relevance of the page to the user. Google uses it as a ranking metric while webmasters used it to keep track of their own PageRank score (1-10; 10 being the most authoritative). Considering how important it was for good traffic, marketers bought into the idea that a higher PageRank score could mean a successful website.

Traffic and Page Authority: Which Affects Which?

We know authority can drive a website’s traffic, but a 2015 correlation study taught us something more. SimilarWeb In a Ranking Correlation study by Moz, we saw that there was a sure link between Traffic and PageRank score, something that many of us had suspected. The question was, which drove which? Looking at the engagement metrics form the user-based set, we saw how metrics such as page views, time on site, bounce rate could drive more traffic and increase the PageRank of a page. What this tells us is that Google is giving more and more weight to user-based metrics and is basing it on user “opinions” without tapping into the user’s personal information. All for the purpose of providing better search results.

Introducing Topical Trust Flow

Topical Trust Flow is one of Majestic’s newest features and people are already saying it has replaced PageRank. As Google moves further away from the keyword-based system and puts more emphasis on value, Topical Trust Flow arrives just in time. So, how does it work? Topical Trust Flow determines how authoritative and trustworthy a domain is within its niche or industry, while understanding what the topic of the content is all about. Unlike PageRank, it is said to be a tricky metric to manipulate, making it nearly impossible to fake. Flow is measured using a secret set of authoritative websites as the base. The further away your domain is from those sites, the lower the Trust Flow will be. The set of base authority sites links to other authority sites, which further link to other relevant sites, and so on and so forth, until eventually it links out to your site. Your Trust Flow score will be determined by how close your domain is to these seed sites. Think of it like this: Topical Trust Flow determines the quality of your inbound links based on the quality of the links pointing to the site where your links come from. If your inbound links come from sites with a high trust flow, that may also give your domain a high score. Topical Trust Flow Trust Flow does not rely on the content quality of the page where your links come from. More accurately, it’s measured from the topical relevance of the links. For example, if your SEO blog has a link from a page about say, gardening, and the site has inbound link coming from other SEO sites, the link can still be considered topically relevant. Majestic has about one thousand categories used to determine the site’s relevance, divided into broad areas like News and Politics and further dividing it into more specific classifications. Categories are based on the page’s content, inbound and outbound link data.

Why Topical Trust Flow Is Important

It’s what Google wants right now. It’s in line with their mission to make the Internet more user-friendly and provide users with relevant, useful results. Topical Trust Flow allows you to see whether a domain is relevant in its niche by showing the areas the site is linked to. From a marketing perspective, it helps us determine how well our site will show up on searches. For instance, a site about cars having more links from sites talking about sports may have a higher link value, but may perform poorly in topical searchers. Insights like this are highly valuable to your SEO development and strategizing. SEO is constantly evolving and takes a diligent team to keep up with the changes and development. Partner with our Digital Marketing experts, and allow us to build your next campaign. Get in touch with us today.