Building Trust with Age
You may think that using age as a ranking factor puts newer sites at a disadvantage, but know that with Google, age is more than a number.
Google relies on its relationship with your site over time to judge whether or not you’re trustworthy enough to list on the first few pages. Time is still a factor – the longer it knows you exist, the more likely you will be to rank – but if it sees that you produce value for visitors over time (you have heavy traffic, your site gets linked to, you produce frequent content, etc.), your relationship will improve.
For sites that have been around longer, this gives you an automatic boost to your rankings, which may come as a relief. For newer sites or those that post less frequently, you will still have to build up your reputation over time.
Keep in mind that age doesn’t necessarily mean when you launched your site, though. Age refers to the indexed age, meaning when Google actually discovered you first. So if you had a site for a while but haven’t done anything with it until now, you will still be a baby in Google’s eyes.
Building Trust with Authority
If you don’t have age in your favor, you can also boost your ranking with authority.
In the past, you would build authority through your Google PageRank. The higher on the scale of 1-10 your site sat, the more trusted it would be. If you could link to more established (higher ranking) sites, you could boost your own score.
While Google still uses PageRank as a factor in SEO, it no longer gives the public access to PageRank ratings, making it impossible to know how you actually fare. Instead, Google uses Domain Authority to determine the trustworthiness of your site.
Domain Authority is a score (100 points) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). While it’s not a direct replacement for PageRank, it does allow you to see where your site sits in the rankings.
What makes Domain Authority helpful is that it gives you a way to measure the strength of your links. You can see exactly which sites are giving you the best boosts and which links are altogether worthless for your ranking power.
A few ways to improve your Domain Authority include:
- Optimizing your internal links – Making sure links go to relevant content, use natural anchors that make sense to users, are linked to the right keywords, etc.
- Creating more link-worthy content – Avoiding keyword stuffing, but creating content that does link out to other sites
- Pursuing higher quality links – Linking to trustworthy (older, more established) sources, putting your site in a directory like Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and the Better Business Bureau, etc.
- Running link audits – Eliminating broken or bad links as often as possible
The better links you have (the better your link profile is), the better your Domain Authority will be.