If you were blind how would you trust people? It is easy for us as we see and hear what people do and say. But it becomes more difficult if you can only judge by what you hear and feel. If you were truly blind you would judge someone by what others say about them. This is similar to building trust with search engines. The reason why SEO (search engine optimization) takes time is because we are building trust with search engines. Let us consider how to build trust and improve your search engine rankings.

1) Time
Trust takes time to build. It doesn’t happen overnight with friends and likewise it doesn’t happen in an instant with search engines. Google, Bing and any other search company requires trust. In one sense, search engines are like a blind person and they need you to build trust with them. This takes time and effort so plan to have your website online for the long haul. The longer you are consistent with your company the better the trust.

An example of this is micro formats. Micro formats are ways to markup content with additional data points so that search engines, phones, and computers are able to easily process that information. You might be familiar with how easy a phone number might be to call on a mobile device. In some cases, people have tried to use micro formats to trick search engines into thinking something different about a company. One example was an SEO company who “gamed” the system in making it look like it was a 5 star rated seo company (Read it Here). Once Google figured out that it wasn’t true and the system was turned off for them. The trust was broken. That is hard to recover from.

2) Word of Mouth
It is easier to trust someone when others recommend you. How often do you ask what a good friends favorite restaurant, place to visit or interesting store? After you build trust hearing what others have to say comes a lot easier. With search engines they take links and citations (mentions of your business) from sites they already trust. It is like a friend telling them you can trust this business. The converse is true also. If untrusted sites are linking and citing your business then it may have ding against your business. If you have this problem using Google Webmaster tools disavow links can help.

3) Reviews
Reviews can seal the deal. If people have bought from you this can have an impact on future sales. I am sure you’ve bought something because it had the best reviews. Using the social web can also improve your website performance on the internet. Google and Bing like to see that your website is liked. This in part can be through reviews, mentions through social media outlets, and comments through blogs. Keeping people participating can help build trust with search engines and have a positive impact on the bottom line of your business.

Creating trust can help your business succeed online. It may take time and effort but in the end it is worth every minute of it. The question then becomes how are you portraying trust with search engines? What are your thoughts? Are there things that you are doing to speed up trust?