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8 SEO Factors that might reduce your Google Trust


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Hey first off, is there something as the “Google Trust Factor” ? Technically it may sound absurd, but practically I think it makes sense. If I was manager to Google, I would definitely think of all the things that will help me decide which is a better website. Here too, I don’t want to talk about “Good sites and Bad sites”, that’s a non-sensical concept if what I know is right, a much better theme is of “Better sites”. So there are no good sites and bad sites, but only better sites (and much better sites.)

So, lets see what are those factors that Google might consider when deciding which a better site is.

1. Back button problem – big problem

So when  a huge number of visitors from the SERPs visits your site ( because you’re on the No.1 position) but soon clicks the back button and gets back to where he came from, does it make sense to have you in the first place ? Probably not. I think it signals Google that this guy on the top of the SERPs is probably there for the wrong reasons and there’s a better guy below.

2. The power of the crowd

And when a large number of people click on the second or third guy on the SERPs, (or all the other sites on the SERP), would it not tell Google that you are “less preferred” and therefore less popular ? If 90% of people searching for a particular keyword clicks excludes you from their visits, then it should send a strong signal I believe.

3. People nofollowing you

Another signal can be triggered when an unnatural percentage of links pointing to you from other sites are nofollowed. It probably means that they’re aren’t quite sure of your quality. Gives a good reason for Google to put you in “review mode”.

4. Too much self-love

Suppose someone found you on SERPs for the term “abc” and your landing page is on a super seo mode with all links pointing to it with the anchor text “abc”, an awkward keyword density for the term “abc” it just means something’s not right with your page. Its so awkwardly perfect. If this is a pattern Google finds on many landing pages on your site, then I think its fair to distrust you.

5. Your bad friends

If you have a lot of links from bad neighbourhood sites, then its a clear signal that you’re probably one of them.

6. Short time visitors

Another great metric that can tell how good/bad your site is the time spent by a search traffic visitor (someone visiting the site through google). If one spents very less time on the site, it only means that your site is less relevant to the topic and that there are better sites out there. It could however, sometimes mean that your site gives the right info in the least possible time, but this factor will have to be clubbed with other metrics to make a decision.

7. Lots of similar stories

If your site has lot of content that’s way too similar with other sites, then that something to watch out for. May be you are following the same press releases or you might be copying content. Either way is not good – bad karma.

8. Technical problems

You know the server down times, server crashes, 404 errors etc are not good for a trust worthy website. Its like telling Google that I’m “trying to be good guy, you know, but not just there yet.”

So there you go, eight out of (lots of) possible reasons for Google to think low about you and your site. I’m sure there are many more, but let’s discuss the eight first.

What’s your say ?

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Written by Mani Karthik

Blogger, Web / Social Media Enthusiast & SEO with Flip Media. I'm always on the learning curve. Love to meet new people, feel free to befriend me.

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11 Responses

  1. Sidharth Vijayan

    Great article. So you think having links from dofollow websites gives good a impression about the website?

  2. Great points for finding out if a site is good or bad.

    I think the Google related factors are quite interesting (bounces, number of people clicking on your link in SERPs, time spent on site).

    In fact, I believe that these factors would already be a part of the Google algorithm – especially since they have LOTS and LOTS of information from their Analytics and AdSense tracking codes!!

    It is only natural that Google would use this data to improve experience of its users – the searchers.

  3. Very insightful! The “Google Trust Factor” is a key element to consider when working to increase your website’s search engine visibility. SEO takes time, persistence, and hard work in order to be effective. Hasty “black hat” techniques never work in your favor long term.

  4. Great post Mani! I agree that there most likely is some sort of “Trust Factor” that plays into Google’s algorithm. They want to rank the most reputable sites higher, so of course they would knock down the less-reputable ones.

    I think that if a webmaster is using any type of analytics software (such as Google Analytics) that many of these metrics will be apparent.

    Bounce Rates, Time on Site, Exit Points are all good places to start when analyzing how your site’s design and functionality might be affecting your Google Trust.

  5. I am not completely convinced about Item #6 above. If I am optimizing a landing page for a client, the time I am expecting the user to spend is less than a minute to arrive to the thankyou page and then either hit the back button or close the window. In either of these cases, I am doing my job and I am doing it right, so I am not sure what will be google’s measure to rank me low because of less time spent on my web page.

    My 2 cents, will look over the other points in greater detail tomorrow, and then take it further.

    Until then,


  6. Nice article, what about the bounce rate ?.

  7. Don’t forget the age of the domain. That is a very important factor.

  8. All point is ok except the one NoFollow point.

  9. Great post again!

    I am really glad I found your blog, Mani. It is scary how much Google knows about us. I guess that it is as Anish said: The bounce rate is probably also a big factor for Google Trust since they have data from all sites using Analytics on bounce rate…
    Do you think the emergence of Bing will change the Search Engine Landscape?

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