Trust Flow and Citation Flow, what are they? They are measurements of the quality of your website, as determined by the websites that link to you.
If you’re new to link building, I suggest you read this article on what link building is before reading this one.
What Is Trust Flow?
This is ranked out of 100. If quality sites the BBC, Bloomberg.com etc. feature your link, then your trust Flow will increase. Google considers your site to be high quality by association with other sites they consider high quality. If you get backlinks on sites with high Trust Flow, your Trust Flow also increases and you will rank better in Google. On a side note, your Trust Flow also increases with the amount of organic traffic you get.
Trust Flow represents the quality of the sites linking to yours, meaning that if quality sites feature your URL, Google considers yours to be high quality as well. Citation Flow is about quantity. If your site’s URL is found on a lot of other websites, it means a lot of people are referencing your content.
What Is Citation Flow?
Citation Flow is more about volume than quality. You can have a high Citation Flow but that isn’t necessarily a good thing – it simply represents the reach of your content. You could have thousands of links all over the internet, but if they’re all on porn sites or gambling sites, or sites with low Trust Flow and Citation Flow, then Google will not consider your site to be high quality.
Why Do people Care About Trust Flow and Citation Flow?
Because if we’re building links to rank higher in Google search results, we need backlinks on sites with high Trust flow and Citation Flow. These are important metrics when it comes to finding good sites to get backlinks from, and to avoid the bad ones.
How Do You Check Your Site’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow
Go to www.majestic.com, create a free account, and type in your site’s URL as below:
And then it’ll show you your Trust Flow and Citation Flow like this:
You can do this for other sites to make sure you’re linking only to decent sites that will help your SEO. Sites with low Trust Flow and Citation Flow won’t help your ranking. In fact, if you have a lot of backlinks on sites with low Trust Flow and Citation Flow, it can actually damage your ranking because Google may identify you as buying links – and that is frowned upon.
What’s More Important, Trust Flow or Citation Flow?
Trust Flow, definitely. High Citation Flow is great, but only if accompanied by high Trust Flow, i.e, you need quality as well as quantity. Trust Flow is usually lower than Citation Flow for any given site, because it’s easy to get links, but difficult to get high quality links.
What Are Good Trust Flow and Citation Flow Numbers?
It depends on your scope, budget and starting point for your site. If you’re engaging in outreach and link building, you should be looking at sites with trust Flow with at least 10, and Citation Flow not drastically higher than the Trust Flow figure. Ideally, look for sites with 15 plus Trust Flow. When you start getting a lot of links from sites with Trust Flow of 20 – 30, and beyond, you’ll see your own Trust Flow increase and your Google rankings improve.
Remember that while Citation Flow is important, Trust Flow is King – the higher the better.
As for Citation Flow, just make sure it is not significantly higher than the Trust Flow. Make sure the ratio of Citation Flow to Trust Flow is as close to 0 as possible, and no higher than 1.8. If that’s confusing, just remember that although citation Flow will usually be higher than Trust Flow, you don’t want it to be massively higher than Trust Flow.
Read more about how to find high quality backlinks.