Citation Flow and Trust Flow

Definition and use in SEO

The Majestic Citation Flow and Trust Flow are crucial for measuring the reliability and authority of a website.

Originally, this task was entrusted to Pagerank, an indicator used by those involved in link building. It provided information about the strength and authority of a website.

The higher the Pagerank of a domain, the higher its authority. In the following paragraphs, I will describe:

  • What Citation Flow and Trust Flow are?
  • How do they interact and the Trust Ratio?
  • What Topic Trust Flow is?
  • What an acceptable Citation Flow is?
  • How to build an optimal Trust Flow?

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What are Citation Flow and Trust Flow?

The Citation Flow and Trust Flow metrics are derived from Majestic, one of the most well-known SEO tools, and serve to evaluate a site in terms of strength and authority.

But then what are the differences in the relationship between Citation Flow and Trust Flow? They are opposites: while Citation Flow considers only the quantity of links, Trust Flow evaluates only the quality.

It is possible to explain Citation Flow more clearly by saying that the higher the number of links a site receives, the greater the influence of the link you insert into that site.

It is important to specify that CF refers only to the number of received links and does not consider their quality at all. Is Trust Flow important for SEO? The answer can only be positive.

citation flow and trust flow in seo

In fact, it is designed to verify the authority of a link inserted in a site, in relation to the quality of the backlinks it has received.

So, the higher the authority of the links received by a site, i.e., the backlinks, the higher the authority of the inserted link.

Often, Trust Flow is compared to Domain Authority. The latter is an SEO metric developed by Moz that, like Trust Flow, has a value between 0 and 100 and indicates the likelihood of a site ranking in SERP.

DA is a comparative metric, so there is no ideal value. The score will be considered optimal if it is higher than that of competitors, increasing the chances of good positioning in SERP.

How do Citation Flow and Trust Flow interact?

The relationship between Citation Flow and Trust Flow is a fundamental element. To assess the overall quality of a link, a value called Trust Ratio has been created.

The higher the result of this ratio and its rating, the greater the site’s authority and overall trust. To explain this concept in numerical terms:

  • 0.6 to 1.2 is very good.
  • 0.3 to 0.6 is intermediate (thus acceptable).
  • If it’s below 0.3, it’s rather poor.

Keep in mind, however, that these are not Google metrics and therefore do not constitute a ranking factor. Both metrics are ways to measure SEO KPIs and are not performance indicators themselves.

In an attempt to bring order to the web, from the comparison between Citation Flow and Trust Flow, the tool Majestic has developed an additional metric called Topical Trust Flow.

This assigns each page a relevant topic. Specifically, this additional flow metric verifies the distance (or proximity) and, therefore, the semantic relevance of links directed to a site.

This helps determine if two sites have thematic similarities, making it easier to gather information indicating whether link-building activities are needed on one site rather than another.

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What is a good citation flow?

The Citation Flow score can have a value ranging from 0 to 100. Consequently, the closer the value is to 100, the more popular the link inserted on a website.

The CT is based on the following elements:

  • Type of inbound links.
  • Quantity of external links containing the originating page.
  • Ways in which links are inserted on the page.
  • Quantity of links received on the source page and the pages linking to it.

Usually, this Majestic Flow Metric has a higher value than Trust Flow since the site could easily receive many links from insignificant sources. But how to increase Citation Flow?

It’s essential to keep in mind that receiving a significant number of trivial links could significantly negatively impact the ranking.

That’s why aiming for a high CF value is essentially useless, as the search engine rewards the quality of inbound links, not the quantity.

In any case, to avoid having a large number of authoritative links, I recommend proceeding with the SEO check backlink.

How to build quality trust flow?

Even the SEO Majestic Trust Flow has a value ranging from 0 to 100.

The fundamental concept behind TF is that authoritative sites link to other equally influential ones, contributing significantly to SERP positioning.

This metric works through an algorithm based on the relationship between the analyzed site and others considered relevant to a specific topic.

Based on this analysis, it rewards resources with backlinks from sites with high TF. How to increase Trust Flow?

An effective method is guest posting, publishing articles on authoritative sites and portals within your market niche.

Be cautious about growing the number of backlinks naturally and gradually, as a sudden increase in inbound links may arouse suspicion from the search engine.

Also, having good internal linking contributes to increasing both flow metrics: a high Citation Flow and Trust Flow value recorded by a page, such as the Home Page.

For example, is transmitted throughout the site through internal links.

Lastly, don’t forget how important it is to invest your time in creating quality content that will significantly contribute to naturally growing the presence of authoritative links.


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Analyzing the differences between Citation Flow and Trust Flow and fully understanding their meaning is vital for your website.

Without tools that analyze these metrics, it would be challenging to assign values to sites automatically, or one would need to rely on outdated assignment strategies.

The SEO world is vast and diverse, encompassing all the tools and actions whose goal converges in one direction, namely increasing traffic and promoting positioning on search engines.

Majestic Metrics indirectly contributes to this purpose. Building backlinks and having quality links that transfer authority to your site is extremely important for its positioning.

It is a highly technical and advanced practice that requires a lot of experience in the field.  That’s why having proper training can truly make a difference for your business.


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