Trust Flow & Citation Flow, MajesticSEO’s New Link Metrics

May. 15, 2012 | by Tibor Palocsay

The basis of how good a website’s SEO value is is judged on many aspects, but most consider the most important factor to be the SEO ‘equity’ passed to the site from external linking sources. These ‘backlinks’ are monitored to try and gain an understanding of the value that they are passing to the site. There are many tools that allow you to measure these values, one of which is Majestic SEO.

Yesterday Majestic SEO announced two new link metrics, Citation Flow and Trust Flow, for measuring the perceived quality of a domain, subdomain or page.

Over the last couple of years the use of Google’s PageRank measurement has seen a decline and SEOMoz’s MozRank has taken over as the go-to measurement of value. Majestic SEO are now claiming that their new metrics are the successor, with a much more useful set of measures.

Citation Flow – This number predicts how influential a URL might be based on the number of sites linking to it. The more links that the site has, the higher it’s Citation Flow.
Trust Flow – This number predicts how trustworthy a URL might be based on a backlink’s proximity to trusted domains. Links from within trusted neighbourhoods are more trustworthy than links from spammy neighbourhoods. vs

As Majestic SEO’s Fresh Index is updated daily, Citation and Trust Flow are very useful metrics not only for what they show you, but in their freshness too. Compared to SEOMoz’s metrics which are updated monthly and PageRank which is updated every few months, Trust & Citation Flow can give you daily updates.

The particularly useful aspect about the new metrics is the visual representation of the numbers. The graph lets you quickly gauge a page’s metrics in an easy-to-present format.

As the Trust & Citation Flow numbers are between 0 & 100, the graph uses a 100×100 grid as it’s canvas, and places a square on the relative point on the grid for each backlink. The more squares at a particular point, the darker the square becomes.

The graphs can be shown in 2 formats, Referring Domains and External Backlinks.

Referring Domains

This graph shows the Trust & Citation Flow for each of the domains that link to the site. The closer to the bottom left a square is, the less links and less trust a linking domain has. A square in the middle but near the bottom of the graph represents a domain with a lot of backlinks but very low trust. A square on the top right of the graph signifies a domain with a lot of backlinks and very high trust.

External Backlinks

Switching to the External Backlinks graph shows the Trust & Citation Flow for the individual backlinks linking to your site. As you may notice a lot of the high Trust Flow links have gone, a likely explanation is that even though a highly Trusted & Cited domain may be linking to you, the actual link could be coming from a deep page which doesn’t have as high Trust or as many Citations as the main domain.

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    Comments (18)

    • steve b

      Excellent article, thank you for clearing up some points I couldn't previously understand.

      gateblog.comJun 21, 2015 04:53 pm

    • Marcomz Networks

      You speak correctly about these Link Metrics and not many people or organisations have this level of awareness.Jun 15, 2015 04:29 pm

    • Jaman

      This is really a excellent post about Trust Flow & Citation Flow.ThanksMar 28, 2015 12:30 pm

    • Sajid Ali

      wow this is amazing information i was hardly looking to understand citation but you make it more essay thanksMar 16, 2015 07:49 pm

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      […] couple of years ago Majestic SEO introduced their Flow metrics, namely Citation and Trust Flow which soon afterwards became the industry standards for evaluating […]Apr 23, 2014 02:58 pm

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      [...] If you want to understand more about these flow metrics, I would recommend reading Majestic SEO’s own explanation on their blog (or you can also read a decent write up on the flow metrics from icrossing). [...]Dec 19, 2013 11:48 pm

    • Haque

      This is a great post, excellent in details and explanations. I am just curious if there is any tool where I can get these metrics in bulk i.e. I can get the data for many sites in one go? This is necessary for me to evaluate quality of many sites that we work with.

      Any suggestions is welcome.Nov 3, 2013 04:38 am

    • Jocelyn Ollett

      Having traded successfully on the internet since 2006, we had no interest in SEO or any knowledge of backlinks until this year. It became apparent that our site was creaking at the joints! We searched for a number of ways to measure our efforts to improve our website, but the best has proved to be a regular visit to Majestic. We've moved up to a 35/25 score, and are extremely grateful to have this simple free resource giving us an accurate guide to our progress.
      Thank you!Aug 20, 2013 09:45 am

    • Easily Evaluate The Job Your Link Building Agency Is Doing | Search Engine People | Toronto

      [...] on relevant sites, links from relevant sites pointing to the site youre getting a link from, their Majestic SEO Flow Metrics scores (or Moz Domain/Page Authority if you prefer). Google PageRank is out-of-date in the year [...]Jul 24, 2013 07:16 pm

    • flowers92

      thanks, now i pretty much get the difference i just dont understand google pr rankMay 27, 2013 10:22 pm

    • Juergen

      I was just on the search for "Trust Flow" and detected your precise information. I'm using the free account and wondered how to interprete and use the indicator provided. Thanks or this great explanation!Mar 7, 2013 09:35 am

    • Imran

      Thanks for the very useful advice, TrustFlow and CitationFlow finally make sense.Mar 6, 2013 08:59 pm

    • Gil Summers

      I too use the free version of Majestic SEO, initially to check quality of back links and later realized the importance of trust flow and citation flow. that has completely changed the way we approached back links acquisition. our citation and trust flow is low at the moment (you can see for yourselves) and we've implemented a new strategy.Dec 30, 2012 09:58 am

    • char@bankruptcychapter7

      Great now I know. I use the free version of majestic seo and check my back links quite often. My citation flow and trust flow have improved significantly over the last couple of months. I am now at a citation flow of 34 and trust flow of 24 it is exciting to see this improve and gives me an indication of how my site is being viewed by google.Sep 4, 2012 01:32 am

    • Mieszkania Poznan

      thanks a lot, i had no clue what it means when guys from majesticseo changed that. now it is clear what cf and tf stand for.Aug 15, 2012 10:27 pm

    • Minerva Collection

      This is really interesting ...thanks for the post and helping me make sense of things.Aug 6, 2012 11:33 pm

    • kjv

      I have just started using Majestic SEO. and was little confused to what each function are defined. Found this, its a lot much more better to understand the tools. I am pretty much maximized to what servuce I bought from MajesticSEO. Thank you Tibor Palocsay.Aug 4, 2012 11:29 am

    • Meeth

      I analysed the report of my website and unsurprisigly the best links I have are have a high Citation and Trust Flow. I really like the fact that these will be updated on a daily basis, for I had to wait for MozRankJun 26, 2012 06:13 pm

    • Hack My Modern Lifestyle

      This is an excellent features added into majestic SEO. But whether the links are considered as spammy or not is not just dependent on the links from its neighbourhood. The on page content (in my opinion) matters the most.Jun 13, 2012 06:40 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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