There is a lot of really, really bad SEO (search engine optimization) advice out there, some worse than others. Luckily we have Googlers like John Mueller and Danny Sullivan that take the time to dispell some of the rumors out there. For example, John Mueller recently did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, which was great. But then again, there are places where people give SEO advice and they have absolutely no business giving that advice. In fact, they can even spread the rumors further, making it even worse SEO advice. Here’s a perfect example.
The question was asked on a Wealthy Affiliate message board:
How long until my site becomes a trustworthy site by google?
Well, that actually is a very good question. The short (very short) answer here is that typically, you gain trust from other web sites that link to you. Get a trusted web site to link to your web site and you’ll gain more trust. That concept has been around ever since Google started using PageRank. So, all you have to do is get a trusted site to link to you. Then, in theory, that could mean one day (get trust the next day) or it could be never. If you never get a trusted link, then you could be waiting a long time to get trust.
But now comes the rumor mill:
The original poster on this forum asked a question about trust, which is, in fact, a good question to ask. But, somehow they related trust to a green check mark that Norton Antivirus puts in the search results next to web sites’ search engine listings in Google’s search results. They actually think that Google puts that trust there–not some other program or application they’re running on their laptop.
So, that misinformed person posts as if Google puts that trust check mark on the search results pages (but they don’t), and the rumor spreads like wildfire. Commenters then further spread the rumor, giving SEO advice about getting trust from Google.
OMG the question, the responses, are hilarious.
I have news for you folks: Google does have some sort of trust factor, but they don’t tell us, let alone give us a checkmark on our search engine results listings.
H/T goes out to Jeff Lenney, who inspired this blog post.