Trust is critical for users who are browsing content and shopping online. Fake news is a widespread issue, and phishing attacks are increasing in frequency. You may be aware that your content is safe to use — but does Google? How about your customers? We’ll discuss trustworthiness in online content in detail in this post, including why it matters, when it matters, and how to ensure you’re sending all the right signals to let users know they can trust you.
What is the definition of trustworthiness?
Trust is a quality that we all require in our daily lives. We constantly have to place our trust in other people and systems. Additionally, we must all be trustworthy as individuals in order to avoid suspicion. However, what is trust fundamentally? According to Dictionary.com, trust is defined as follows:
Trustworthy; dependable; dependable
That may sound straightforward, but there are numerous factors to consider if you want to demonstrate your trustworthiness to the world. And this is particularly true when it comes to digital content and e-commerce. Another way of putting it is this: if you use this information or make a purchase from this site, will it live up to your expectations? Or will it have a negative effect? Google wants to ensure that the pages that appear high in its search results are trustworthy, particularly when it comes to ‘Your Money or Your Life’ pages. After all, the majority of people would rather pay a few extra dollars if it means they won’t be taken advantage of.
Why trustworthiness is critical (for SEO and more)
Trustworthiness is not a factor in ranking — at least not directly. However, if users are uneasy when they arrive at your page, they are likely to click the ‘back’ button and return to Google. Google is currently keeping a tight lid on how they measure user satisfaction — but ensuring users get what they need is essentially their top priority. Therefore, if users immediately leave your site and continue to search on Google… Google will notice, and it makes little difference what they refer to as the ranking factor associated with that. We are certain it exists 😉
The same is true for all E-A-T factors: while they are not strictly ranking signals, if Google’s algorithm works properly, high E-A-T pages should also rank highly in the search results. (If they do not, then there is a problem, which is why Google uses E-A-T to review its own results.)
Apart from Google’s assessment of your trustworthiness, this is critical for you and your users. If they lack trust in your site, they are unlikely to use it! Which means that all of your other SEO efforts will be in vain. Therefore, invest some time in developing trust — this stuff is critical.