Google keeps on changing its algorithms to provide best results in SERPs. Now, Google has started giving importance to other metrics also such as Trust flow, Citation Flow along with page authority and domain authority to rank the web pages. These metrics tell the quality or trust of the particular web page making it easier for search engines to fetch the quality content to the users. You can use Majestic (Moz) to know these metrics of your website.
Mostly, people are well versed with domain authority and page authority but they do not know what exactly Trust flow and Citation Flow metrics are. Even, I never gave much attention to them until I gave Monitor Backlinks a try. I was trying to analyze my backlinks and other metrics for a particular domain page. There again I found these two metrics – Trust Flow and Citation Flow.
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For me also, these both metrics were like black holes. I thought to read about them and now here I am writing an article on these metrics to give you a brief idea about them.
Before starting the difference, you should know that both trust flow and citation flow are the components of Flow metrics. The Majestic Flow metrics along with other metrics have become major ranking factors for the search engines. Flow Metrics are expressed as numbers between 0 and 100, the higher the number, the stronger the signal and flow. Flow metrics get updated daily which means they are more accurate unlike other metrics (e.g. Domain Authority a.k.a. DA & Page Authority or PA are updated on a monthly basis). Also, these metrics are hard to be manipulated which makes them a promising factor to rank web pages. Let’s move on to the article now.
Trust Flow is a metric by majestic (from majestic SEO tool) which shows how trustworthy a site or link is by measuring its quality. Quality is a key component in every aspect. By quality here, we mean the quality of backlinks pointing to your site. You might have plenty of backlinks but if they are not quality backlinks or are bad links, you will not have good trust flow. On the other hand, if you have got backlinks from authoritative and qualitative and trustworthy sites, it means you have a high-quality site because high authoritative sites will never back support the spammy or low-quality sites. Similarly, your trust flow will increase. In simple words, Trust Flow is a number (on a scale between 0-100) which calculates how reliable your domain or web page is based on backlinks proximity. Having a high trust flow ensures having good organic traffic. Google and other search engines also reward sites with high trust flow.
Now, the question is what is citation flow. Citation Flow is another metric by Majestic. Like Trust Flow, this metric is also measured on a scale of 0-100. This metric predicts how promising a link to a site is by considering the links pointing to it. If there are more domains pointing to a blog post, then the more promising it is.
But it has nothing to do with the quality of the links, unlike trust flow. CF gives the popularity of a particular link regardless of quality. For example, p**n sites will have tons of links pointing to them (which are low qualities) so they have high citation flow (CF). So in simple words, the more pointing links your site has, the higher CF will be.
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Relation Between Trust Flow and Citation Flow
So, now you have an idea about both Trust flow and citation flow metrics. Let’s see if there is any relationship between them and how are they connected. Both trust flow and citation flow form the flow metrics algorithm as mentioned earlier. If your site’s/link’s TF increases, then CF will also increase. But vice versa is not mandatory. Since CF defines the number of links pointing but not the quality of those links. So, if sites with high CF, but low TF link to your site, it will negatively impact your Trust flow.
Below is a sample image to depict both TF and CF metrics for each of the domains that link to the site.
As the Trust & Citation Flow numbers are between 0 & 100, the graph uses a 100×100. Place a square on the relative point on the grid for each backlink. The closer to the bottom left a square is the fewer links and less trust a linking domain has. A square in the middle but near the bottom of the graph represents a domain with a lot of backlinks but very low trust. A square on the top right of the graph signifies a domain with a lot of backlinks and very high trust. The more squares at a particular point, the darker the square becomes. So, if a link has CF 10 and TF 20, then TF/CF ratio is 2:1 or 0.5.
Now, you might be wondering what is the good trust flow citation flow ratio. The average trust to citation flow ratio should be 0.50. The higher the ratio, the more authoritative and trustworthy site is.
How To Check Trust Flow & Citation Flow Metrics
To check these metrics you can install Majestic SEO Chrome plugin or Trust Flow Checker (an online tool). Also. If you want to check multiple URLs at once, you can Bulk Backlink Checker tool by Majestic which is a paid tool.
As mentioned, Google and other search engines are giving importance to these metrics to find quality sites to rank higher. You should focus on them especially trust flow. Having higher citation flow is of no use until you have good trust flow which determines the quality. And you know, Quality is more important than quantity. Now the point is how to increase trust flow. If you are doing guest blogging to get backlinks, try to guest post on high authoritative and trustworthy sites rather than the low-quality sites. I know it is a bit difficult to publish your article on quality blogs but it is definitely worthy. Also, do guest posting on the websites related to your niche only. Avoid Doing these common link building mistakes. Try to focus on these things and start focusing on these metrics.
That’s all in this article. I hope you know now what is trust flow, what is citation flow, and what is the relation between them. Is there anything we missed? What strategies are you using to improve your Trust Flow and Citation Flow? Do share your feedback in the comment section below 🙂