Majestic Trust Flow Versus Citation Flow

The technological advancement in the internet scenario has a cascading effect of how people do marketing today. In the olden days, people used the services of the print, audio, as well as visual marketing techniques. Today internet and online marketing are striding like a Colossus. One of the major factors of online marketing is effective usage of ‘search engine optimization (SEO)’ techniques.

You can find a number of metrics available to marketers interested in SEO. Various search engines and marketing software have their own methodology for arriving at a numeric conclusion of a website’s search potential. However, you can easily manipulate these metrics. Hence, you may never be able to arrive at a concrete and reliable result.

We shall have a very brief look at such metrics.

trust-citation-flow-pngGoogle PageRank: (Google PR)

Google uses this method to determine a page’s relevance. It uses a scale of 1 to 10. Important pages receive a higher rank.  We shall explain how this functionality works. The most relevant thing to look at is the quality of the incoming links to a particular page. In case the links are from a high quality website, the pages have a greater relevance and hence rank higher on the Google Page Rank algorithm. However, this is an outdated method today.

Alexa Traffic Rank:

You should install an Alexa toolbar and use it for at least three months. It records the traffic and analyzes the same. This forms the base for the Alexa Traffic Rank.

Moz Domain Authority and Page Authority:

‘Moz’, the marketing software, has designed this Domain Authority. This can predict the website’s traffic and organic search engine rankings. The main criteria are the linking root domains, number of total backlinks, and distance of backlinks from the home pages. It measures strength of the entire domain.

In comparison, the Page Authority measures strength of an individual page. It is a score on a 100-point logarithmic scale.

Majestic Trust Flow:

The Trust Flow (TF) is a qualitative score on a scale between 0-100. Majestic conducted a manual review of the web and collated many trust seed sites. This is the foundation of the Majestic Trust Flow. You can see that sites linked closely to a trust seed can have a higher score. If the site has some questionable links, the TF suffers.

You base the TF on the number of links a domain gets from a set of trusted sites. The Majestic team collects many websites from a set of sites. Many sites could have a direct or an indirect link from this set. These are sites with high TF. Sites having poor backlinks naturally have a low TF. As Majestic does a manual collection of seed sites, it is tough to manipulate the TF.

There is one more concept, the Topical Trust Flow (TTF). The page authority is the base for this TTF. This has a range from 0-100. You can help users find influencers for specific categories using TTF. You can also determine the relevancy of the link using TTF.

Majestic Citation Flow:

The Citation flow is also on a scale of 0-100. You can measure the link equity or power the website carries. You should always use the citation flow in conjunction with the trust flow.

The Majestic Flow Metrics Algorithm is the joint usage of the Trust flow as well as the Citation flow.

More of Trust flow vis-à-vis Citation flow:

  • Trust flow emphasis on the quality factor more than the quantity aspect. It is a measurement of the quality of any incoming link. It also takes into effect the quality of links pointing to this particular incoming link. Hence, you can see that a quality-incoming link will pass a lot of quality forward. Similarly, an incoming link with less quality does not pass on much value. It has no connection with the volume. This is the specialty of the trust flow fundamentals.
  • It would be very difficult to manipulate the system now. It does not matter how many hours you spend running apps to generate backlinks for your site. You can send thousands of links to a filter site. It will not have that much value as there would not be much value coming into the site. On the contrary, a single link from an authority site such as Moz or a .gov will be far more valuable.
  • In contrast, citation flow takes into account the volume of traffic rather than the quality. You can find that a page with a 100 links from different domains will naturally have a higher citation flow than a site with say 10 incoming links. It makes no difference if the incoming 100 links might be from new WordPress sites or blogs. The citation flow considers the volume of traffic alone. This is a cumulative measurement. It takes into account the incoming links to the sites linking to you as well as the sites linking to those sites and so on and so forth.
  • Hence, you can say that the trust flow is quality-based whereas citation flow is quantity-based. However, a single link from a site such a Moz would have a great citation as well as trust flow. You may find thousands of sites linking to Moz. Hence, any link they publish has a great citation flow as well.
  • To put it simply, we can infer that citation flow measures potential second and third degree connections. Trust flow emphasizes more on perceived value and hence is a better indicator of search engine performance.
  • The citation flow concept is more like the PageRank concept of Google. Spam can affect citation flow as it did with the PageRank. Trust flow is sounder concept as it concentrates on quality rather than volume.

Concept of topical trust flow:

  • Topical Trust Flow is an improvement on the trust flow in the sense that it can filter out irrelevant links. It is a topic-oriented trust flow. It not only takes into account overall quality but also the value in relation with each other. A good example would be a Moz linking to a car blog. Now, Moz is not a link dealing with cars. Hence, it would have a lower topical trust flow. We shall have a detailed discussion on the topical trust flow later on in this article.

Monitoring of the trust flow:

  • In case you want to measure the Majestic Trust flow or the citation flow or any other flow metrics in question, you have to go to the Majestic website. You should enter the URL of the page you wish to analyze. You should use the fresh index as far as possible as Majestic updates their indexes on a daily basis. This can maintain accuracy of the data.
  • On doing so, you will find a measurement of both the trust flow as well as the citation flow. You will also get to see a number of external backlinks, referring IPs, domains, as well as subsets. They all measure up to the uniqueness of your website. You will also get a graph showing the trust as well as citation flow on the X and Y axes. You can check out the information for yourself here. You also have an option for having a detailed analytics.

Trust Ratio:

Trust ratio in simple terms means Trust flow / citation flow. This ratio has a great bearing in determination of overall trust of the site. Usually you will find that the trust ratio would always be lower than the citation ratio. Thus, the maximum ratio would always be below one. It is always desirable to have a trust ratio as near to one as possible. The average trust to citation ratio should at least be more than 0.50. Any ratio below 0.50 is not desirable, as the site would have large amount of low-quality backlinks. You may occasionally find the trust ratio to be above 1.00. This is quite rare. However, such a ratio is definitely a good one as the site has maximum links from trustworthy sources. Even Google does not have a ratio over 1.00.

Ways to use the trust flow:

  • You can use the trust flow in many ways. It could be for the betterment of your site. In order to improve your trust flow, you will try to access authoritative sites such as .gov and .edu. This can result in improving the quality of your searches and links.
  • It would also help you to gather competitive intelligence. You can gain a march over your competitors by having a higher trust ratio. Higher trust ratio means a higher ranking in the search engine results. This can result in higher web traffic coming your way resulting in increased business and growth.
  • You can use trust flow to get a list of targets for outreach and link acquisition.
  • You can also use trust flow to recover from link penalties. Search engines penalize websites with a low trust ratio. They banish them to the back pages of the results. Hence, no customer would be able to have access to your site. The only way to come out is to improve the trust ratio.
  • Link prospecting is one very apt use of the trust flow metrics. By having a higher trust ratio, you can improve the quality of the advertisements thereby generating higher revenue for your website.
  • You can use trust flow metrics to search Twitter profiles and filter out the advertisements.

Many people use the services of Twitter to air their views. Celebrities do too. People like to follow these celebrities and their activities. However, you should know whether you are following the actual celebrity or a fake one. The trust flow metrics comes into the reckoning at this point of time. It ensures that Twitter filters out the fake ones. This is one use of trust flow metrics in Twitter.

Ways to boost your flow metrics:

There are many points to have in mind when you go for increasing flow metrics. We shall examine about seven golden rules you should keep in mind.

  1. Your main goal should be to increase the trust flow. In order to have a healthy trust ratio, you should have a high trust flow. You should not give much importance to citation flow. You should always try for a qualitative approach rather than a quantitative one.
  2. Quality has always won over quantity since time immemorial. One authoritative back link is any day better than a thousand weak backlinks.
  3. One way of getting authoritative backlinks is to increase guest posting. However, you should exercise caution if your website or blog is a new one.
  4. You should concentrate on building up links from authoritative links in your area of business. The topical trust flow concept should gain prominence. A higher trust ratio in your area of business can rank you higher in search engines such as Google.
  5. You should have great internal linking strategies. This could help in increasing your trust and citation flow. Having a strong home page with sufficiently high flow metrics can have a great influence to the pages linked from your home page. It is great to have backlinks to both the home page as well as internal pages.
  6. You should concentrate on the .gov and .edu backlinks. These back links have a high trust score. This can rub on to your site or blog.
  7. No-follow links carry a high citation level. They do not increase your trust flow in any way.

Factors affecting trust flow:

  • Internet is a vast ocean. You can find innumerable websites. You cannot and should not expect all sites to be genuine. An extremely large number of sites would be spams. You can never avoid such sites from springing up every now and then. In order to use your website in the best manner possible, you should endeavor to build up links from authoritative websites. This will increase the trust flow and automatically result in a higher trust ratio.
  • Spams will always be waiting for you, no matter what. You can take all the precautions in the world. You cannot avoid encountering spam at some point or the other. You should master the art of minimizing the contact with such spamming sites. Regular contact with such sites can affect your trust flow and have an adverse effect on your trust ratio.
  • Everybody knows that people judge you by the company you keep. The same is true of websites too. The more contact you have with trustworthy links, the better it will be for you.
  • Topical Trust flow: Detailed discussion about the concept:
  • Google has virtually closed its PageRank. PageRank had many disadvantages. You could stuff your website with keywords and get an unusually high PageRank figure. Spams could affect the PageRank ranking a great deal. Seeing to these problems, a new system was the need of the hour.
  • Majestic SEO has come up with two new concepts namely the trust flow and the citation flow. You have seen the relevance of the two concepts earlier in the article. Majestic SEO has come up with an improved version of the trust flow metrics with the introduction of the topical trust flow concept.
  • Topical trust flow lays greater emphasis on the subjects of the search. It gives more importance to the subject matter while arriving at the trust flow factor. Majestic has announced more than a thousand categories such as News, Politics, Sports, education, and so on. This industry wise classification is of utmost importance in determining the trust flow factor. You can have an industry wise trust ratio to contend now.
  • Topical Trust flow is the latest ‘IN’ thing in this sector. It can show you at a glance whether the site is relevant for the industry or not. Google is now contemplating on looking at the topic of the site while indexing it. This can enable a well-defined search now. You will able to arrive at the right website that much faster.
  • You will be able to get a better insight into where the links to and from the site are based. That will allow you to see the relevance of the website as a whole. We can consider a small example. You have a technology specific site. In case it has more links to sports oriented sites, you may have a high link value. However, the site will fare poorly in the topical searches. This is the future of SEO development.
  • This topical trust flow concept can result in better content being available on the internet. You can narrow down your searches tremendously and save ample time and labour. In addition, you improve your efficiency.

Difference between trust flow and citation flow:

There are obviously many differences between trust flow and citation flow. They are two completely different concepts.

  • In citation flow concept, you get an estimate about how a page rank should flow to an individual webpage through a website. The trust flow concept will give the estimates of flow of the trust rank to the individual pages.
  • To put it very simply, citation flow is a reference number. It calculates the significance of a URL based on the number of websites linked to it. Hence, if the website has more links, the citation flow is higher. This is a purely quantitative concept.
  • The trust flow concept lays emphasis in the reliability factor. It calculates the reliability of the URL based on the backlinks. We can take a simple example. Links coming from highly trusted websites such as .gov and .edu have a higher trust flow in comparison with those coming from spam sites. This is a qualitative concept.
  • The citation flow concept can predict how influential the website might be, based on the number of links. The trust flow concept can give you an idea about the trustworthiness of a website, based on its backlinks.
  • An increase in the trust flow will definitely increase your citation flow. However, the reverse is not true.
  • The spam links can boost the citation flow figure. It can attract penalties from Google.
  • On the contrary, Google awards websites with higher trust flows with a better placement on their search engine results.
  • By now, you know that citation flow is a quantitative concept whereas trust flow is a qualitative concept. In any field of activity, everyone would prefer quality to quantity. This is no different here too. Trust flow is always preferable to citation flow because of the higher degree of reliability and trustworthiness.
  • Citation flow can be high. It is required that your website should be popular enough for people to search for it. However, you should ensure a sufficiently high level of trust flow too simultaneously. This can keep a check on the trust ratio by managing to keep it above 0.50. Any lower figure is liable to attract penalty from search engines such as Google.
  • Citation flow is important. However, trust flow is more important. It gives a semblance of trustworthiness to a website. People would always prefer to deal with a trustworthy website in comparison with a more attractive and popular spam website. Majestic SEO has come up with an improved version of the trust flow. The topical trust flow is the most preferred flow metric concept today.

Is it fine for the trust flow to be greater than the citation flow?

  • As discussed earlier, the trust ratio is a very important concept under the circumstances. The trust ratio is the ration between the trust flow and the citation flow. You should understand that every trust flow would have a corresponding increase in the citation flow. However, an increase in the citation flow need not cause any increase in the trust flow at all. Hence, you can infer that trust flow will invariably be less than the citation flow at all levels. These are certain exceptions to the rule. You may find the trust flow to be higher than the citation flow on some popular sites.
  • Concept wise, it is always better to have a higher trust flow score than a citation flow score. It is practically very much impossible to have such a scenario. Thus, Majestic SEO has arrived at an ideal trust ratio figure as 0.50. Nevertheless, you should aim for a high trust flow score. You should try to reduce the citation flow score as much as possible by having links with authoritative websites. This can boost the trust ratio to acceptable levels and avoid penalties from the search engines. These penalties can have an adverse effect on your

We shall now see how to use the Majestic SEO trust flow.

  • As discussed earlier, you should aim for as high a trust ratio as possible. This can save you from penalties. This is easy to say but difficult to We shall now look at ways and means to improve the trust ratio. We shall also see the ways to avoid penalties.
  • Trust flow is the ultimate today. Google might never update PageRank again in the future. In fact, it was a reliable tool. However, you have to move with the times. You have a better option today. Hence, you should take it. The topical trust flow concept is very popular among SEO developers today.
  • You should have access to the Majestic SEO website. You have to register for measuring the flow metrics. The website allows you three attempts to check the flow metrics. Anyone can register at the site. It is an easy process.
  • Once you register, you have to enter the URL at the specified place. You should then hit the search button. The software will do the job and return the results for perusal.

Advantages of using the Majestic SEO:

Using the Majestic SEO, you can have a fair idea about your flow metrics. You can then use them to your advantage. There are many advantages of using the Majestic SEO.

  • You will be able to identify the top influences in your area of specialty.
  • You can have an idea about the real problem for the penalty.
  • You can do qualitative link analysis.
  • You can prevent irrelevant link building and reduce the citation flow figure considerably.
  • You can find great content to work with to improve your trust flow percentage.

Advantages of the trust flow concept:

There are many advantages of the trust flow concept. We shall look at some of them.

  • By having a high trust flow score and trust ratio, you get good and reliable web traffic. This can help you in improving your business a great deal.
  • By building up a high trust ratio, you increase your reliability factor too. Users will be attracted to your website and result in improved business.
  • You will rank high on the search engines such as Google and others. This is one basic requirement of effective SEO. By having a listing on the first page of the search results, you increase chances of attracting prospective customers. This can improve your business to great levels.
  • By having a good trust score, you can avoid penalties imposed by search engines. Today, search engines are very particular before listing a particular website. They do a thorough background check to find out about the credentials of the website. A good trust ration can do you good.
  • The trust flow concept is a good predictor of organic search traffic. A domain with a higher trust flow can look for exponentially more keywords. This will enable it to receive more traffic. At the same time, it will increase the citation flow too. However, the quality of incremental traffic is more important.


You have seen the way the SEO concept unfolds itself. SEO has become a very important part of online marketing. Customers may not know much about SEO and its concepts. They do not know how the search engine functions. They are interested in purchasing their product. They would plump for the first site they see on the search engine, based on their keyword search. It is your lookout to ensure that your name appears on the first page of any search engine result. You should take pains to do all the hard work necessary to achieve this objective.

You should engage an SEO professional to ensure that your name lists as high as possible on the search-engine result page. You need to ensure that you have a good trust ratio. You should do your homework properly in the matter.

You must have seen the importance of the trust flow factor in online marketing today. PageRank is literally extinct now. Under the circumstances, the Majestic citation flow and trust flow metrics assume great importance.

Improving your business online would entail your site to rank high on the Google search engine. The best way to achieve this aim is to net quality backlinks. The trust flow factor is an important step in this process. Once you improve your trust flow score, the trust ratio automatically gets a boost. This could push up your ratings in the SERPs.

Majestic SEO has done a yeoman service in introducing the topical trust flow concept. This can remove many uncertainties in the online market scene. You will be able to target only those clients who have a compatible topic. This concept can ensure a healthy competition among similar enterprises. Maybe this might be the first steps taken by Majestic SEO in building their own search engine in the future.


Trust flow concept has come to stay today. No online business enterprise can escape from this SEO technique. You have to face the facts. The best way is to improve your trust ratios and be in tune with the market trends. You have to increase citation flows too to increase the traffic. However, you should complement that by a corresponding increase in the trust flows. Having links to authoritative sites is a sure way of improving trust flow factor. It is easy to achieve a high trust ratio. However, it is very difficult to maintain the same consistently for a long period. This would require tremendous hard work from your side.


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