The popularity of Google’s PageRank measurement has been reduced and internet users now usually prefer The Majestic flow metrics and SEOMoz’s MozRank & Domain Authority. The two new metrics launched by Majestic SEO are indeed the most useful set of measures.

Google is giving huge importance to the metrics like domain authority, trust flow, and citation flow as a ranking factor. It is hard to measure these data, and that is why the software has been developed to analyze links by Majestic. It is easy for Google to rank a website with trust flow or citation flow depending upon its quality, trust and authority.

The categories of Majestic SEO metrics

There are two main categories of metrics which are popularly known as the flow metrics:

1) Trust Flow-

The trust flow predicts how trustworthy a URL will be. This in interpreted on the basis of a back link’s nearness to the aged and trusted domains. The links that come from a trusted neighborhood are more dependable when compared to the links that come from neighborhoods that cannot be trusted.

2) Citation Flow-

The citation flow refers to the number that predicts how influential a URL might be based on the number of sites that are linked to it. The more links the site has higher is the citation flow.


Values of Citation flow and trust flow

The values of citation flow and trust flow lie in a range of 0 to 100 while for Google the value is 99 on both the forms of metrics. The search engine land has a citation flow of 75 while the Trust flow is 64. The Search engine round table has a citation flow of 69 and trust flow of 43.

Need for the flow metrics

As the Google PageRank became extinct, the secondary metrics started mattering a lot. The metrics such as Domain authority trust flow and citation flow are now becoming the ranking factors in Google. The sites such as Majestic SEO and Moz rank and determine the authority of the websites or blogs.  These metrics cannot be tricked easily like Google PageRank.

The flow metrics are updated every day, so they are quite accurate. You can also determine the trust of the site with the flow metrics. The job of ranking sites has become very easier for Google since the trust and citation flow metrics have been introduced.

Understand the concept of citation flow

The citation flow is a metric that is designed to predict how influential a link that is present in a website is, by considering the links that are pointing towards it. The quality of the links is not taken into consideration. More the domains pointing to blog post more influential it is. The word influential in this context means that capacity of your website or blog to have an impact on the people who are interested in your niche or readers of your blog.

The factors that impact the trust flow also impact the citation flow. So if trust flow increases the citation flow should also increase. However, there is no rule that the increase in citation flow should be equal to increase in trust flow. If the citation flow increases, there is also no rule that the trust flow should also increase.

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If any website with a high citation flow links to your website, then you may get a high citation flow boost with fewer inbound links. You must also consider trust flow as well because links from websites with higher citation flow but lower trust flow negatively affects your site although it may boost your citation flow.

The concept of trust flow

Trust flow is metric that is designed to decide how trustworthy a link on the website is. It is based on the quality of Backlinks that are pointing to the website. The presence of authoritative and trustworthy backlinks to a website increases the trust flow.

The trust flow is lesser than the citation flow for almost all the websites or links. There are several backlinks in a website however not all those links are of high quality and do not have trust. Though you may ensure that you only have quality backlinks on your website the low-quality backlinks may be generated automatically by various directories or from other sorts of backlinks. Thus, there is a lower chance of getting all high-quality backlinks. So trust flow cannot exceed the citation flow most of the times.

A direct correlation is observed between the trust flow of a domain and amount of organic traffic that it gets. If a site has high trust flow, it indicates the website has a high-quality backlink profile. The presence of high-quality backlinks gives a boost to the Google rankings.

In simple terms, a high trust flow is a clear indicator of the high-quality content to Google, Bing etc. If there are more links to a site that carries the trust flow, then it indicates that the money site is getting decent organic traffic.

The Trust flow & Citation flow Ratio

The ratio between the trust flow and the citation flow matters a lot in determining the overall trust of the website. In case, the citation flow of a website is 40 and the trust flow is 20 then the ratio of CF: TF is 2:1 or 0.5. The maximum ratio that is possible between them is 0.9. However, Google is an exception as it has a ratio of 98:99.

The ratio nearing 1 is desirable. The average trust flow to citation flow ratio must be 0.50. The ratio is higher for websites that have more authority and are trustworthy. If the trust flow is very less when compared to citation flow it clearly indicates that the site has a large amount of low-quality backlinks. In the case of authoritative websites, the quality backlinks are higher among the tons of backlinks.

In case the citation flow is high, and the trust flow is low the website that is checked has lots of links however, they are not of high quality and not trustworthy. This indicates that the website has gained the links that may be spam and not from authoritative sources.

On the flip side if the website has a high value of Trust flow and low citation flow this indicates the links that are pointing to site or blog are from a trustworthy source. So if the metrics by Majestic SEO are used you can decide if the site is technically trustworthy or not. If you are working for a digital marketing agency where you have to provide high volume of links these metrics can save your time that is needed for quality checking the sites before contacting them to ensure the links you build are of highest possible quality.

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The process to measure flow metrics

You can go to the MajesticSEO website and enter the URL of the website you wish to check and select the use fresh index option which is usually selected by default and hit the search button. The backlink profile of that URL is returned along with the flow metrics. There is fair usage policy for the users who have not signed up. If you want to extend the trial limit, you may need to register for a free account. It is a better option to install the MajesticSEO extension that is available for both Chrome as well as Firefox. The browser extension helps you to easily look up for flow metrics of any website.

If you wish to check and compare the flow metrics of multiple URL’s at the same time, you can use the Bulk Backlink Checker tool. The Raven SEO tools also utilize the MajesticSEO API in order to pull the flow metrics data.

Advantages of using Majestic SEO

There are various advantages of using the MajesticSEO for checking and comparing the flow metrics:

  • It helps in identifying the top influencers in your niche.
  • It also helps in identification of the real issue for Penguin penalty.
  • The MajesticSEO provides link quality analysis.
  • It also helps in prevention of irrelevant links building with the help of the topical flow metrics.
  • It is of great help in finding great content.

Some points to increase the flow metrics

  • The main goal of using the flow metrics should be to increase the trust flow. To obtain a healthy ratio trust flow must be higher. There is no point in increasing citation flow. The quality of the backlinks must win over the quantity.
  • If you have 1000 backlinks and 1 authoritative backlink, the authoritative backlink has more value.
  • The best way to get authoritative backlinks is by guest posts. The posts by guests should not be very high and the frequency at which the backlinks are built should also be kept to a minimum especially if the blog or website is new.
  • The links should be built from authoritative sites that are in your niche. This is because the MajesticSEO takes into account the topical trust scores as well. The trust score must be higher in your niche or topic so that you are ranked higher in Google.
  • The proper internal linking strategies help in increasing the trust flow and the citation flow. A strong homepage with high flow metrics influences the pages linked from the homepage. If you have backlinks to both homepage and internal pages the flow metrics are increased.
  • The backlinks with .org, .gov and .edu add more trust score to your blog or site.
  • The no follow links carry citation flow to some extent but no trust flow.
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Difference between citation flow and trust flow

The citation flow does not consider the quality of the links and simply refers to the popularity of the links. For example, the Porn sites have very high CF but are not of good quality. While the trust flow analyzes how trustworthy a site is by measurement of its quality. Quality is an essential data for this metric. The trust flow usually increases when the link pointing to your website is authoritative and qualitative.

It is harder to get good trust flow than the citation flow so CF is always higher than TF. This is because there may be a number of links but all of them may not be relevant. Even if you develop a qualitative linking strategy there are directories and another sort of backlinks that are pointing to your website but are not qualitative. The other differences are:

  • An increase in the Trust flow will definitely increase the citation flow.
  • An increase in citation flow may not ensure an increase in the trust flow.
  • Citation flow that is boosted by high spam links invites the penalty from Google.
  • If the site has high trust flow it is rewarded by Google by placing it higher in the ranking order.

Which metric is more important Citation flow or trust flow

Beware of domain names associated with citation flow more than trust flow as such domains are spammed with bad links and can have Penguin penalty or manual Google penalty.

Trust flow is more important as citation flow is boosted by the spam links however the trust flow is never. A sidewide link from a single website which has good TF and several inner pages can boost the TF up to 30 even if the site is not that good. So there is no guarantee that the websites with high CF and TF are 100 % good.

You must look for Trust flow and the referring domains. For example you can look for TF that is 15+ and referring domains that are 10+. This fixes the Majestic bug for high trust flow with sidewide links from the websites. If you only look at the citation flow and the domain name you may avoid spammed domains.


As the power of Google PageRank is getting lower Google stresses more on the other metrics such as trust and citation flow. To be ranked higher in Google the high-quality backlinks need to be gained. With the high quality backlinks the other metrics such as flow metrics and domain authority increase. The increase in these metrics acts as a signal for Google to rank the blog or website higher in SERP’s.

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