By Kaitie Frank
20 Dec 2023

Elements of Trustworthy Sites, According to Google

Basic SEO     Content Creation     Technical SEO

Trust is vital in digital marketing as it dramatically impacts user experience. According to Google, trust is the most important aspect of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). 

Google’s priority is to return relevant searches. This process helps ensure the search engine’s user experience. If Google suddenly started producing irrelevant or harmful content, users would no longer trust it and would take their searches elsewhere. 

Additionally, Google has a moral obligation to trustworthy search results. Their code of conduct states:

“Our reputation as a company that our users can trust is our most valuable asset, and it is up to all of us to make sure that we continually earn that trust. All of our communications and other interactions with our users should increase their trust in us.” 

With such an emphasis placed on trust for their own company, it makes sense they would hold that standard with sites on their results pages. 

Google defines trust as the accuracy, honesty, safety, and reliability of a page. To understand how to make a website more trustworthy, it is crucial to analyze Google Search Essentials and identify the elements contributing to trustworthiness.

External links

One of the key factors in establishing the trustworthiness of a website is the presence of external links. According to Google, external links can help determine a website's trust. By citing sources and linking to authoritative websites, you can establish your own website as a trustworthy source of information. This builds credibility and trust with your audience, increasing engagement and traffic.

In addition to citing sources, authoritative backlinks can also serve as votes of confidence that signal to Google that your site is a reputable and trustworthy source of information. Backlinks from high-quality sources can improve your site's reputation and visibility in search results, leading to increased traffic and higher rankings.

To incorporate external links into your content correctly, be sure to:

  • Use descriptive anchor text.
  • Link to sites relevant to your site or content.
  • Format links so they are easy to spot.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing.

By prioritizing the use of external links and authoritative backlinks, you can establish your website as a trusted source of information and increase your chances of success online.


It is highly recommended to use HTTPS to secure the communication between your website and its users. In 2017, Google required HTTPS for sites that collect sensitive information. 

HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, which is a protocol that encrypts data as it is transmitted between a website and a user's web browser. This helps to protect sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details and also makes your website appear more trustworthy to Google.

Additionally, acquiring an SSL certificate helps establish a good technical SEO foundation, a must for all sites that want to rank well in the search rankings. 

Google considers secure sites more reliable, so HTTPS could improve your website's ranking. This means that a secure website is more likely to appear higher in search engine results, which in turn can increase visibility and attract more traffic to your website. 

To use HTTPS, you must obtain an SSL certificate. You can buy one from your website host and install it in your control panel. 

Accurate Main Content

To establish trust with your audience, it is important to focus on two key aspects: quality content and consistent and accurate information. Providing high-quality, informative, and relevant content is crucial for building trust with your target audience. This means that your content should be well-written, informative, and tailored to the needs of your audience. 

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the information on your site is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent. Misleading or outdated information can quickly erode trust, so it is crucial to regularly review and update your content to ensure that it remains relevant and accurate. 

Google’s helpful content guidelines provide questions to help you assess your content to ensure it is accurate and high-quality. By focusing on these two key factors, you can establish a strong foundation of trust with your audience and build lasting relationships.

Positive Reputation

A Search Quality Rater examines a website or content creator's reputation to determine trustworthiness. A positive reputation can be demonstrated in multiple ways:

  • Social media
  • Backlinks
  • Testimonials and reviews

Active and positive engagement on social media can indirectly influence search rankings by contributing to the trustworthiness of your site. Social signals may not be a direct ranking factor, but they can still be important in establishing your site's credibility. 

Additionally, if applicable, it's important to showcase the expertise and credentials of the content creator to establish their authority. Google may consider the author's authority when assessing the quality and trustworthiness of the content. 

Good User Experience

When it comes to designing a website, one of the most important things to consider is the user experience. In order to create a positive user experience, it is crucial to design a website that is easy to navigate and has a well-designed, user-friendly interface. This enhances trust and user engagement and contributes to the website's overall success.

Google introduced Page Experience as a ranking factor and gives advice in assessing your page’s experience:

  • Do pages have good Core Web Vitals?
  • Are pages served in a secure fashion?
  • Does content display well for mobile devices when viewed on them?
  • Does the content lack excessive ads distracting or interfering with the main content?
  • Do pages lack intrusive interstitials?
  • How easily can visitors navigate to or locate the main content of your pages?
  • Is the page designed so visitors can easily distinguish the main content from other content on your page?

Additionally, site owners looking to improve their page experience should consider a mobile-friendly design and avoid using intrusive popups. 

Building trust with your users is gradual, but it has numerous benefits. By earning their trust, you may see your website rank higher in the SERPs. Furthermore, in the long term, you will have created a website that users can rely on and that Google values highly. 

Kaitie Frank

Kaitie is a copywriter and content writer for Page One Power who specializes in SEO-optimized content. She has written for various niches and prides herself in knowing random tidbits of information. In addition to putting words to paper, she indulges in physical fitness and telling her cat why he is, in fact, a good boy.