Back in May 2012, SEO tools firm MajesticSEO announced a concept called FlowMetrics – this was broken down into two areas: Citation Flow and Trust Flow
Here’s how MajesticSEO describes them:
Citation Flow predicts how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it. Because links are now not all created with equal weight – and because a strong link will have a relatively stronger influence on URLs further down the chain, you can see how much better Citation Flow is as a mathematical logic than the old metric of ACRank.
We start with a large list off manually reviewed URLs. These have a crowd-sourced level of trust but by no means include all the trusted sites on the web. It turns out, though, that trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbours. Those neighbours also tend to link to trustworthy neighbours themselves. In fact – after lots of iterations – those outside the circle of trust are put in the cold. So Trust Flow, like Citation Flow passes THROUGH urls like sound passes through walls – with awesome effects.
In short, for every domain or URL, you end up with a score from 0 – 100 for each metric. And that score is a measure of the possible relative value of that page or domain.
So what has this got to do with PR?
Here’s an example. Let’s compare two tech media sites – The Register and Computer Weekly.
As the table shows, The Register has a much higher Trust Flow score than Computer Weekly. Based on the definition above, this would suggest that pages on The Register site (on the whole) pass more SEO value from its links than those from Computer Weekly (and yes, there are all manner of other variables that need to be taken into account). But the purpose of the exercise here is to have a quick way of prioritising which media sites you might consider for targeting from a PR perspective (or specifically, sites that might deliver more value both in terms of the content being read as well as the SEO value that links from such content could provide).
Of course, FlowMetrics work at an individual page level. So each individual story will have its own associated Citation and Flow Metric score. It is perfectly possible that a particular Computer Weekly page may have higher Trust Flow score than another individual Reg page – but at the domain level, the Trust Flow score is designed to give an overall perspective on the general level of SEO value from that site.
So imagine this scenario.
As the PR, you are tasked with identifying the best places to get online media coverage. Or more specifically, links. And links contained in editorial.
- Select your top 10 media sites for your client
- Run them through MajesticSEO’s Site Explorer tool
- Rank these sites by Trust Flow
- Look at an individual site’s pages and see which have the highest citation and trust flow scores (this tells you something about the kinds of pages and content that people are more likely to discover – and may have implications for where you want to target your content placement. Or those stories that have the highest citation and trust flow scores – this may give you clues as to the kind of content that is most popular on that site – and thus influence your own content creation. Look at the Anchor Text breakdown for each site – this gives you an idea of the kind of text that people use when linking to that particular media site – generally, it will be fairly obvious or mundane (eg brand name, click here, etc) But again, you might unearth some clues for your own content creation).
- Or what about picking stories from specific journalists and running them through Site Explorer to see what kind of Citation and TrustFlow profile those pages have.
As has been stated time and again in the last 12 months, Google has said it will give preference to links in editorial style content on high authority, high trust sites and pages.
We all know PRs should be the ones best placed to gain coverage and links from high authority, high trust sites. Using a tool like MajesticSEO should make the process of identifying where to target those placements even more effective.