October 24, 2014

How I Can Trust You: Pigeon

By Lewis J.

We get a lot of questions about Google rankings, but the most common are about Google Trust Rankings. What are they? Why are they important? What affects them?

Put simply, your Google Trust Ranking is how much Google trusts your business is real and your website isn’t spam. There’s no score or metric attached to it. Google either trusts you or it doesn’t, and Google will not rank companies that it doesn’t trust.

How do you become trusted? There are several ways, but the two most important reasons are contained in Google’s two most recent algorithms: Pigeon and Penguin. (Google and its followers have a fondness for animals) 

Pigeon’s goal is to improve local and mobile web searches. Part of this algorithm determines whether brick and mortar businesses are open, reputable, and reliable by examining their Google reviews, Google+ profile, and the consistency of the name, address, and phone number.

The importance of Google reviews is self-explanatory. They don’t just indicate the quality of your business, they prove that it has an active client base. Star rankings reflect the number of reviews that you have received, good or bad. Once you have received five reviews, they’re averaged together and become your star rating. Businesses with star ratings are trusted more than ones without them, though they are not necessarily ranked higher, as you can see.

Maintaining an active Google+ profile also reassures Google that your business is active, but by far the most important factor by far is the consistency of your name, address, and phone number. Google requires consistent and unique contact information in order to establish trust. If your business is listed under several different addresses and phone numbers across multiple sites and social media profiles, this raises enormous red flags with Google and will prevent your company from being ranked.

This even includes companies with multiple branches. Each branch needs their own separate address and phone number unique for each location. If you operate in a building with multiple businesses, include your suite number to help distinguish yourself from the other businesses in the area. If you are in the unique position of operating several businesses from the same location, you can convince Google to trust each one of them by giving them their own separate phone number. You can even create multiple business profiles for your office staff as long as each profile has its own unique phone number.

That’s Pigeon. Next week we’ll look at Penguin. It’s a different kind of animal altogether.

Do you have a question that I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments!

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