As Google takes the authority of a website into account when calculating PageRanks, domain authority is an important factor within SEO. Trust & Citation Flow are used as an indication of website authority, so we’ve broken down what they are and how to use them to assess domain authority. 

Trust Flow and Citation Flow are useful insights into how search engines assess a website, and can be important in improving your search engine optimisation both is analysing your own site and any sites used for link building.

Trust Flow

Essentially, Trust Flow is a numerical indication of how reliable a URL will be. 

Trust Flow is presented as a score between zero and a hundred which is an indicator of how good a page’s authority is. A URL’s Trust Flow value is calculated based on the domain it originates in, the quality of existing backlinks and links, and how it sits in comparison to similar trusted websites. The result is a qualitative analysis of the trustworthiness of a URL. Trust Flow, or variations of it, are used for ranking by all search engines.

A Trust Flow of higher than ten is recommended if a website is selling links or sponsored articles. Putting backlinks on websites with a Trust Flow lower than five can negatively impact your website’s authority and own Trust Flow.

Citation Flow

Contrary to Trust Flow, Citation Flow assess the popularity of a URL without factoring in quality.

Citation Flow is also a score between zero and a hundred and can predict the potential influence or reach a URL will have. Citation Flow is calculated based on the number of backlinks your URL has, and also accounts for the Citation Flow of the URL the backlink originates from. Although this is not a qualitative analysis, a backlink from a URL with a high Citation Flow will positively impact your own Citation Flow as it is based on popularity. Backlinks from URLs with high Citation Flow and low Trust Flow will still improve your Citation Flow, but will negatively impact your Trust Flow at the same time. 

The Golden Ratio

The ratio of Trust Flow to Citation Flow is important when assessing a URL’s reliability and potential benefit to your own website. A ratio of one or more is best, as it shows a site is as qualitatively reliable as it is popular, however, a ratio higher than 0.5 is considered good in terms of quality and popularity. 

If a URL’s ratio is below 0.5 this shows poor quality as the Trust Flow is largely outweighed by a high volume Citation Flow. This can be an indication that the URL in question has used spam tactics and low-quality backlinks to build its Citation Flow.

Improving Authority

In order to improve your website’s domain authority and search engine rankings, it is crucial to work on your Trust Flow and Citation Flow. The higher these values are the better you will rank, provided your Citation Flow is not inordinately inflated in comparison to your Trust Flow.

As Trust Flow is a quality-based metric, building up your website’s Trust Flow can take time. Creating authentic backlinks, on sites with high Trust Flow will help improve your own score.  One good-quality backlink is more valuable to your Trust Flow than several lower quality ones. Keeping backlinks within the topic of your website and avoiding irrelevant backlinks can also help. For example, if your website sells phones, linking to other technology sites is useful, but linking to a site selling groceries would not benefit your Trust Flow in the same way.

If your Trust Flow increases, Citation Flow will also increase, however the same is not true of the reverse. Citation Flow will increase naturally from the flow of traffic from wood quality backlinks. Internal linking (linking to other pages within your website) can also benefit your Citation Flow score as search engines do assess the flow of traffic within your website. So a well-structured and easy-to-navigate website will, inevitably, boost your Citation Flow.

In short, Trust Flow and Citation Flow are an important measure of your domain’s authority and are benefitted by quality backlinking which creates organic traffic. 






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