Majestic is a link indexing tool that crawls the internet to map the interlinking nature of the web. As an SEO you will need to become familiar with this tool and others like it, such as AHREFS and Moz. However, the core topic for this conversation is TrustFlow and what it means. This metric is unlike Domain Rating or Domain Authority, and you’re about to find out why.
What is Majestic’s TrustFlow?
Majestic’s TrustFlow is a metric that scores a website’s relative distance from a trusted website, on a scale of 0 – 100. This is done by Majestic manually reviewing the web for honourable websites and then making them a seed. If you get a link from this seeded site, you are considered more trustworthy than somebody who didn’t.
If you get a link from a site that has a link from a trustworthy seed, you see some of that trustworthiness pass to your site. This is a great metric in principle, because it takes into account not just the amount of referring domains, but also the origin of those domains.
Below is a video on how to understand and use the Flow metrics, including both TrustFlow and CitationFlow in the video.
What makes TrustFlow so unique?
Other indexing tools such as AHREFS and Moz use referring domains at the core of their algorithm. They have discerned that the more unique referring domains you have, the more likely you are to rank. This makes sense because Google historically has preferred 1 link from 100 websites, rather than 100 links from 1 website, after the early days of link building.
In fact, Google has built their Penguin Algorithm specifically to punish websites that garner lots of links from unnatural sources. Google doesn’t seem to mind spammy links as much as they do unnatural links – though reducing both is part of a good SEO campaign.
The fundamental difference with TrustFlow is the trust seed component of the algorithm. By manually reviewing websites to see if they are trustworthy, Majestic has an added component to their algorithm that the others do not. However, this raises the question of how reliable the metric actually is…
Is TrustFlow a reliable metric?
The short answer is yes, you can use TrustFlow as part of your SEO process. However, truthfully it’s a lot more complex than that.
Are There Alternatives?
There are two main alternatives to measuring a website’s trust or authority. The first is AHREFS which uses domain rating and URL rating. The second is Moz, that uses domain authority, page authority, mozTrust and mozRank.
AHREFS Domain Rating & URL Rating
This is my preferred metric to work with, and for good reason. With access to AHREFS you have access to a whole lot more than just link indexing. You gain access to keyword research tools, historic SERP data and the most accurate metric available. My recent study on Domain Rating shows that it’s not a great metric, however URL rating is. There’s a clear correlation between a page URL rating and likelihood to rank. With this in mind, it’s a powerful tool.
Moz Domain Authority & Page Authority
Since Moz is the beginning place of most SEO’s, it tends to be the first metric they encounter. There’s not much information available around the metric, so users take it as gospel. However, the truth is that it’s got a good algorithm but a small index. The web crawler for Moz is lagging behind both Majestic and AHREFS. Since they have not indexed much of the web, the data is often incorrect and out-of-date. You will do good to take their metric with a pinch of salt.
However, the popular MozBar Chrome Extension is very useful for beginners, so this is one of the most popular metrics. In the future this could a powerful metric again, but the crawler needs updating.