Every search engine optimization company likely has their own favorite tools. AHrefs, SEOMoz, various other tools. One of our favorite SEO tools happens to be MajesticSEO. Don’t think it’s a one-trick solution though – our bookmark file for various tools is QUITE long. That said, Majestic is a great all around location for finding out a lot of information on any domain. If you happen to be reading this and thinking, “I wonder what’s going on with MY domain…” – go to MajesticSEO and find out. They have a trial type version that gives you a few screens of information before you have to pay. If you only have one domain, it’s a wealth of information that you probably didn’t even know existed out there. Note that you will NOT have this new tool information on a trial version style viewing, but…
So what is this new feature?
Topical Trust Flow. We popped up there a few days ago and were presented with this screen – we’re going to use a few demo sites for reference… Let’s start with a big one – Yahoo.com. Yahoo is absolutely huge with 2.1 BILLION backlinks. Pretty impressive. You’ll notice a “Trust Flow” of 97 on this screen positioned to the left and Citation Flow on the right of 95. These are both measures of relative strength of this domain. The former comes from links that all have an intrinsic trust value. As example, a domain that has been around for 15 years with similar content, no break in ownership, focused on specific topics, etc is going to have a higher value than a site that popped up last week chock full of news blits, no solid content, etc. Generally the older, the more chock full of viable content, and the more numerous the links to your site are, GENERALLY, the higher the strength of your domain. If you have a content-light website that you just created last month, thin content (just a few pages and maybe posts that are short like under 350 words) and doesn’t have many links, your site is going to rank much lower on the totem pole.
This topical trust flow measures the amount of love that will be referred for various topics and comes into play with Offsite SEO. If you have an auto site as we’ll reference below, one of these auto sites will pass a lot of love. However, if you’re going to throw a link to your favorite recipe website? Not so much. It will STILL throw love, but it’s a completely different topic than that which is being discussed on the following sites and won’t carry nearly as much weight. We call this “topic relevance.” The more relevant your content to sites that are linking to you, or you to them, the more Google love that will be transferred and acknowledged.
Now, what all this comes down to is how powerful your domain is when it comes to searching and when it comes to linking to other sites. They’re both big and they carry some weight. One is for NASCAR and the other for the auto manufacturer, Ford. Both auto sites. Both well known. But they have a different focus. They both have a lot of links but are linked for different things and have different contexts.
Here’s NASCAR – it is obviously going to be the authoritative site for anything to do with NASCAR auto racing. You can see it carries a trust flow of 78 and citation of 62. The topical Trust Flow for this site is 77 for “Sports/Motorsports” – and that is pretty solid. If you have a fledgling auto racing team and you can get a link to your website from nascar.com – that is the topical weight that will be flowing to your site. On the flip side, among other things mentioned in their list of trust flows, there is a trust flow of 24 for “Recreation/Autos.” There isn’t a complete comprehensive explanation of this new tool yet, but these topics will be given weight by links TO the subject site and by content on the site. If you have an auto dealership and can get a mention on the front page, then that link will only be carrying about a third of the weight that a link to a Motorsports website will.
Let’s contrast that to Ford.com. Ford is a very old auto manufacturer. While it is part of NASCAR and will obviously be relevant in any discussion of automobiles, the focus of Ford is much broader than just racing them – though it plays a big role. It has a high topical trust flow of 84 for “Recreation /Autos”. We can also see that it carries a trust flow of 54 for “Sports/Motorsports”, so it’s still very authoritative for that topic as well – but not quite as high as NASCAR. If however we are talking about throwing some love to a general automobile website, it could pass on a whole LOT of love.
Comparing and Contrasting the two auto sites a bit
If we had any type of website that had anything to do with autos, ANY of the mentioned websites here would produce some extremely good “google juice” to our site. They are all three big strong domains and websites. If you had any little website here in Raleigh – getting a mention, particularly on the front page, with a link to your site would likely rocket your site up in the rankings. All of this comes down to website focus, how the sites are linked and from where. If we wanted to get max love though for a racing website? We would want the 79 trust flow passing love to our website most likely. As a side note, we did NOT do an authoritative check on this whole thing. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you’re looking for links to your site. This is simply an explanation of the new tool, more or less how it works, and why we would use and benefit from it.
Is this affecting your site now?
Yes, but it may become even more important in the future. While Google never shares anything more than a high level overview of the things that are factored into the ranking algorithms that it uses, rumors are swirling that more weight will be put on the semantic aspects of web in the future. For example, if you have a car website and you have a bunch of links coming from fairly unrelated sites – let’s say your buddy’s landscaping company, another buddy’s grading company, a roofing company, an HVAC company, etc – none of those sites really have anything to do with cars. Whatever trust they have is NOT going to be high for any of the automobile terms that you likely want to be ranking. Those links DO carry weight, but they could be a LOT more effective if those links were from your buddy who has an auto dealership, another buddy with an auto parts store, another buddy who has an auto repair shop, etc. See the difference?
These factors are already in play, but it is rumored to become more and more important to be linking to relevant content sources to provide the most benefit. Take the time to research your sites, your terms and your link sources to get the absolute most value from this tool. Happy rankings!