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.
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.
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.