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What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care

What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care

What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care


“What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care” written by Mike Marko.

Have you heard about citation flow and trust flow but don’t know what they are?

Neither did I until recently.

I love blogging. I love ranking in Google and other search engines.

And that means I need to keep up with the latest metrics being used to measure the strength of a website.

With Google no longer giving much if any weight to PR (page rank) anymore, other metrics become more important. And that’s where citation flow and trust flow come in. created these two metrics to help measure the authority of websites and blogs.

That’s why I’m going to tell you what is citation flow and what is trust flow, and how they work.

Let’s Talk About Citation Flow and Trust Flow

First thing is first… we need to talk about what is citation flow and what is trust flow.

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What is Citation Flow

Citation flow is a number of predicting how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it. It does not bother with the quality of links. If there are more domains pointing to a blog post, then it is more influential. The citation flow is assigned a value between 0 and 100 (Google is 99).

The number of domains pointing to a site are like “votes”. They represent votes saying that the content of the website is worth looking it and has relevance. The more votes you have, the better the website.

What is Trust Flow

Trust flow is a number predicting how trustworthy a page is based on how trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbors. This metric is based on the quality of the links. The trust flow is assigned a value between 0 and 100 (Google is 99).

This means authoritative, more “trustworthy” backlinks to a site increase the trust flow.

A site may have a ton of , but not all of them may be of high quality and have trust. Now even if you only focus on quality backlinks, you will still have lower quality backlinks automatically generated by various directories and other backlink sources.

Remember how we compared backlinks to “votes”? Well you can have lots of “votes”, but not every vote is treated the same. In fact, a lot of poor quality votes can actually hurt your ranking in search engines. Higher quality backlinks help improve your citation flow metric.

Note that it has also been shown that there is a correlation between a site with higher trust flow and the amount of organic traffic the site gets.

Ratio Between Citation Flow and Trust Flow

There is a balance you need to maintain between citation flow and trust flow… and that balance, or ratio, is calculated by the ratio between the two metrics. This ratio determines the overall trust of a website.

The calculation is best demonstrated by the following example: if a site has a citation flow of 30 and a trust flow of 15, then the ratio is 2:1 or 0.5. With the exception of Google, the maximum possible ratio is 0.9.

The goal is to have a ratio as high as possible. The higher the ratio the more authoritative the website. The average ratio can be assumed to be around 0.5.

You need more quality backlinks in order to increase your website’s ratio.

How Do You Get The Metrics?

The easiest way to get the metrics is to visit and enter the URL of the website you want to check out. Make sure that “fresh index” is selected before you hit “search”.

The tool then gives you the profile of the backlinks profile for the site in addition to the flow metrics.

If you want to get the metrics even easier, then I would suggest installing the or . The toolbar help eliminates going to the website to get the metrics.

But going to the website has other benefits. You can also use to:

  • Identifying the most influential sites in a niche.
  • Analysis of link quality.
  • Finding great content.
  • Identifying the real problem for Penguin penalty.

How to Increase the Citation Flow and Trust Flow Metrics

The following are some tips on how to increase citation flow and how to increase trust flow.

  1. Use no-follow back links sparingly. They carry some citation flow but no trust flow.
  2. Spread the love. A good backlinking strategy within your website helps increase the metrics. As you build up a strong home page, build your pages with links to the home page and other internal pages within your website. Reference your own pages… you are showing the search engines that you value your content enough to reference it.
  3. Focus on authoritative backlinks. A few high quality backlinks is much more valuable than a hundred “junk” backlinks that can drag your website down.
  4. Use some .EDU and .GOV backlinks. They can carry more trust score to your website, so be sure to add them into your overall link building strategy.
  5. Focus on backlinks from within your niche. MajesticSEO takes into account how relevant the backlinks are to your niche.
  6. Comment on other blogs… especially sites that ask for your website address when you fill in the comment. If you comment on authoritative websites in your niche, it will help boost your trust flow.

Final Words on Citation Flow and Trust Flow

Google has been stressing other metrics like citation flow and trust flow more and more since it dropped PR.

The goal is to have quality backlinks. If you can focus on higher quality backlinks, it will help improve your overall metrics. And these metrics (along with others) is a great signal for Google to rank the site or blog higher in the SERP’s.

Thank you checking out my article, and happy blogging!

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What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care - Mike Marko
What is Citation Flow and Trust Flow and Why Should You Care - Mike Marko

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