The Difference Between Trust Flow and Domain Authority

Discussion 2: The Difference Between Trust Flow and Domain Authority
Ted
What's the difference between trust flow and domain authority?
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Martinez
Both are made up SEO terms that have no relevance to how search engine algorithms work at Bing or Google. Domain authority is a metric computed by Moz. "Trust factor" just appears to be a boogie woogie term used by many to describe a vague fiction according to their own beliefs.

Marcus
while there is something called "Trust Rank" created back in Yahoo times, when they still were having their own ranking algorithms: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TrustRank
Waran
Trust factor is nothing but just checking the trust of a domain . People might use trust factor instead of trust flow that's it i thought 😉
Ted ✍️
Martinez, Chase_Reiner mentioned that "Trust factor"was the #1 thing I should work on for my site. He did an audit.
Martinez
Let me put it this way. If you have a choice between making a site more trustworthy and not, I would go with the more trustworthy choice. The algorithms do not have a trust ranking signal but they evaluate signals that correlate to providing a better user experience.
Ted ✍️ » Martinez
"User experience" and "trust factor" are two different things.
Martinez
"Trust factor" is a made up SEO expression. It represents a best guess at one thing people can do to improve their sites' standings with search engines. The ranking algorithms do not use a specific trust signal. There is no mathematical way to condense data to a discrete value like that.
On the other hand the search engines can quantify user experience and use combinations of such signals to find better websites to recommended to their searchers.
Marcus » Martinez
Hi Michael, are you a search engine engineer, or how do you know they have nothing like a trust ranking signal? Just because you don't know a way to calculate something that could be called something trust like doesn't mean there is no way 😉
Martinez » Marcus
First, the search engine representatives have repeatedly said for years they don't have such a signal. Second, I've spent many years reading their research papers and patents. Despite things like "trustrank" they have never mentioned a ranking signal that is based on trust. Third, I've written a lot of software in my time and I know what "trust" means to a software engineer. You must trust a lot of untrustworthy data because there is nothing else to work with. Trust is not some precise thing that can be measured by tallying up items on a Web page. It's a vague concept and it's something you do, not something that is a quality of character. The most trustworthy-seeming site on the Web can sell links, which is a violation of search engine guidelines. How do you measure "trust" in that environment?
Harry » Martinez
– just saying… http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=P TXT&S1=10268641.PN.&OS=pn/10268641&RS=PN/10268641
United States Patent: 10268641
Harry
but yea… how it's used in SEO terminology is just silly…
Martinez » Harry
"information indicative of trust relationship between users to rank search results" <– Not even close to what these guys are hoping for with their "trust signals". It's a value the search engines can only infer. I agree the SEO community needs a euphemism to describe the intention, but it's when they lose sight of the fact that it's a euphemism for a set of complex (and often experimental) processes that I tend to speak up.
Harry
Don't gotta tell me brother… just saw U banging yer head against a wall and well… felt a little trolling was in order. God knows I ain't getting involved in this one, U seem to be doing fine. rofl.

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Strauss
there is also trust flow. at least for that one it has partially got to do with conceptual. niching, and how 'what a linking site is about rubs off on your site', but it seems to hold little value from the actual niche perspective, or if it is there it is negligible – but we have found it can be useful to get conceptually relevant anchors from those sites if they are willing to link to you.
Martinez
The problem with assigning the label "trust [X]" to anything is that there are different kinds of trust. About 10 years ago (maybe longer) former Googler Matt Cutts explained on his blog that when Microsoft moved hundreds of thousands of URLs to a new domain they triggered a "trust filter" that caused Google's indexing system to reduce the crawl rate for that content significantly. It was a bug in Google's logic that they fixed. Google has long since replaced all that code 3-4 times with new "core" search algorithms. But another type of trust is where a search engine may allow links from one Website to pass value (PageRank, anchor text, whatever) to their destinations and yet it won't allow similar links to pass value from another site – because that second site isn't "trusted". Hence, it's okay to talk about "building trust", "improving trust", "making a site trustworthy" and doing what we believe works best toward those ends. But there's no single specific "trust signal" because the word itself is used in a lot of different ways both inside and outside the search communiy.
Jubair
TF is increasing a while after when your domain stand a long period and depend on how trusted and quality content u have which websites linked your website and its more important than DA, and domain authority is increasing fast than TF,, backlinks and social signals factor.
Harry
And fine… I'll pitch in with Martinez to say that indeed DA is a joke… means fck all to Google. And how most folks seem to talk about 'trust' related scoring, is WAY off the mark. I get frustrated when folks that know very little about information retrieval and search engineering try to sound authoritative. As someone that's spent more than 15yrs reading patents/papers, even I haven't really a clue as to how it's being implemented/used, to what degree, what thresholds or even methodology. But in general, to the OP? The difference conceptually is that 'authority' and 'trust' are two different things. is it okay? There we have it…

Kyle
I seriously need to watch more of your stuff 😉 In general I personally take Da, PA, CF, TF all with a grain of salt, but at least to me, they tell me that if all the metrics are somewhat positive, that the site is going to be relevant to what I am after in one way or another. Whether or not the site/page actually pulls in decent traffic is another thing, and also whether or not the link is actually valuable is also to be considered. Also, these metrics are very easy to manipulate with tools such as Money Robot and other similar ones.

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This may satisfy you: Some Effect After Guest Posting on a DA 60 Site
Discussion 1: Is Domain Authority (Da) Not Meaningful Because It neither Issued by Google nor Bing?
Altman
Who came up with domain authority? Was that Google? I thought it was some third party like MOZ that made that up? Any reference to Domain Authority (DA) from Google? If its third party then DA is not meaningful? Always was confused by this as it makes no sense.
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Roger
In case someone doesn't know who I am, I've been doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for over 20 years and was a moderator at one of the top SEO forums of the day (WebmasterWorld), so I was well positioned to hear about these ideas when they were invented and talked about.
Domain Authority is something SEO users created to talk about why a site might rank better than some other site. It was always a sketchy idea that was on the same level as the Google Sandbox. Most top SEO users who actually read patents or research papers didn't really promote the idea of Domain Authority.
In the past, Google showed PageRank scores on a level of 1 – 10 on an IE toolbar. A site that had more home page PageRank would be able to rank better than sites with less PageRank. So there was indeed a race to point as many links to the home page as possible. But that influence and how pages were ranked changed. So that whole thing about getting top PR to the home page died out as a ranking tactic.
So when Moz invented their metric, apparently they subscribed to the idea of domain authority and gave that name to their own metric, thereby perpetuating the idea.
Not everyone in the SEO community actually believed in domain authority back then.
It's pretty common knowledge now that it's important to get links to the page you want to rank.
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Altman » Roger
Thanks for taking the time to write this out. I really appreciate it. I was blogging and working on SEO starting in 2006 but stopped in 2012. I recall some of this but now years later… well … some people are focused on some odd things. Its like people are trying to game the system. Its been interesting to dive into all this again. Thanks again for sharing as I get my mind on straight on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Kieran
There's "Domain Authority™" courtesy of Moz which is a simplified and opinionated score from 0-100 involving internet-scale crawlers (also run by Moz) and calculations based on link-graphs to get a non-linear metric to try and indicate how strong a domains' overall backlink profile is. There are similarities to Ahrefs' Domain Rating (DR), or SEMrush AS or Majestics Trust Flow(TF).
There is also the more generic idea of "domain authority" which is not always referring to the Moz metric. Moz DA is often conflated with the concept of a hypothesized Google domain-level authority score, it's important to make this distinction.
A Google DA metric, if it exists, could be said to be similar to PageRank, with the difference being that it would be a domain level metric. If such a Google metric exists or not, and if it does how important it is as a ranking signal, is a moot point.
It doesn't make sense that Google uses Moz' DA™ score. If G do use a "domain authority" metric (and not just page-level link-graph calcs) it'll be Google's own private calculated metric/s used on the back as a ranking signal.

Joshua » Kieran
This should be a pinned post. I'm glad someone had the energy to explain this again.
Mawji » Kieran
I do believe there IS a Google metric for DA since they're constantly talking about overall authority but it's not something they've disclosed thanks to all the DA and PA manipulation that SEO users tried back when Pagerank was a thing 12 years ago
Thompson
Great explaination Kieran. Only thing I'd add is that third-party metrics like Moz's DA were developed, in part, because Google decided to hide their PageRank metrics from the public. Most third-party metrics like Moz DA are based (at least loosely) on how PageRank was calculated.
Kieran » Thompson
Yeah good shout. This whole thing seems to be a conversion on repeat: "What is DA? Oh Google doesn't use DA, if you care about DA your shit at SEO" which misses a whole bunch of nuance.
Altman » Kieran
No, this statement isn't to qualify someone as shit at SEO. That's an inaccurate way to process people using a 3rd party metric and tools. But whats clear is that people have over complicated SEO to game the system. They use these metrics as if it's 100% valid and used by Google itself. So, it just seems odd to use DA as the source of truth to figure out current Google algo. Its fine as maybe a bases but not as an absolute target. But what if this heuristic is now invalid and people cant stop using it. Its old in tech life from what I am seeing. It becomes a heuristic error if no longer truly valid. Anyways, just trying to understand whats actually valid vs third party.
Thompson » Kieran
Exactly. Most of the metrics we use in SEO aren't used exactly by Google. We use them because they're (hopefully) approximations of the actual (secret) metrics Google does use.
Kieran
There are a few pieces of analysis which show correlation between organic rank and these 3rd party metrics. Of course that's not causation, but if we assume that they are being roughly calculated in a similar way to how G might be doing link graph calcs, then they can be a useful proxy in this way.
I'd agree that they are not robust enough to depend on or use as a business or SEO campaign performance Key Performance Indicator (KPI). It's also hard to know if they are or will continue to be a reliable proxy to a hypothesized Google rank signal. But with the right context these metrics can be applied in useful ways like quickly prioritizing PR or outreach efforts, and getting a birds eye view of niche competition for benchmarking purposes. You can still do perfectly good SEO without any link metrics, but it's really a personal preference thing how or if you use them day to day.

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