90 Digital CEO Nick Garner advised that it is really important that user can trust your website and if there’s an issue they can go and contact you in this edition of CalvinAyre.com’s SEO Tip of the Week.
Short intro to Trust Optimization.
Along with on site optimization and link acquisition, there seems to be a third element to ranking well on Google, it’s called Trust Optimization. Trust Optimization is based on the information we have got from anecdotal evidence on click through rates and rankings along with explicit guidelines from Google stating what they are looking for in a trusted website. On with the post…
As a user, we want to know somebody is responsible for the website were using. If a website has no contact information, yet it is trying to make money somehow, then it shows a real lack of trustworthiness.
Google say in the 2014 quality rater guidelines:
“2.5.2 Finding Who is Responsible for the Website and Who Created the Content on the Page
Every page belongs to a website, and it should be clear:
• Who (what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) is responsible for the website.
• Who (what individual, company, business, foundation, etc.) created the content on the page you are evaluating.
2.5.3 Finding About Us, Contact Information, and Customer Service Information
The types and amount of contact information needed depend on the type of website. Contact information and customer service information are extremely important for websites that handle money, such as stores, banks, credit card companies, etc. Users need a way to ask questions or get help when a problem occurs.”
It makes sense for Google to highlight this in their quality rater guidelines. Just having a contact form isn’t really enough.
It’s important to have some kind of verifiable contact details along with name address and so on. Here is an example of a contact page for the bigfreechiplist.com. Whilst is not great, its better than most affiliate sites i’ve looked at.
Of course, if you look at operator sites there is typically complete about us and contact info. If there isn’t, I would avoid that operator….
If a website has any kind of commercial role to play, it just makes sense to have enough information so you know who you are dealing with and how to get hold of them.
If you do business with someone, even if it’s a link seller who can hardly speak English, you will still want their contact information so if something goes wrong (which is inevitable if you buy junk links) you can redress the problem.
If a user how to make any kind of trust commitment to you, it makes sense Google would look for ownership information on the site.
Interestingly when you look at Google PPC landing page guidelines… (https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2404197?hl=en )
“Transparency and trustworthiness. Make it easy for visitors to find your contact information. Openly share information about your business and clearly state what your business does.”
It makes sense for Google to have an ownership policy, after all if you place your trust in a site and there is a problem and you can’t contact the owner, then somewhere along the line you will blame Google for pointing you to that site in the first place.
That’s why I think proper ownership information is really important for trust optimisation on any site.
Nick Garner is founder of 90 Digital, the well-known and respected iGaming search marketing agency.
Nick is obsessed with SEO and whatever it takes to rank sustainably on Google.