Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow
Majestic (formally Majestic SEO) is an SEO tool that was developed in 2004 by Majestic-12 Limited which is based out of England. The company provides reliable, regularly updated data which helps analyze the performance of your websites, as well as that of your competition. Majestic currently has the largest link intelligence database in the world and the data they share can help users increase website traffic, manage their online reputation, monitor company news, and analyze competition. Unlike it’s competitors, Majestic focuses only on backlinks and offers in-depth backlink data that you won’t find in other tools. The platform is a perfect tool to scour for keywords and the different pages and websites where they appear, including the search engine score of any website address. Majestic constantly revisits web pages and crawls roughly one billion URLs every single day.
Majestic Trust Flow is intended to give a ‘trust’ value any given URL. Majestic Citation Flow is a number predicting how influential a URL might be based on how many sites link to it. As previously mentioned, Trust Flow analyzes how trustworthy a site is by measuring its quality. Quality is the essential data of this metric. If a link pointing to your website is authoritative and qualitative, then your Trust Flow will increase. A good Trust Flow is harder to achieve than Citation Flow, so your domains Citation Flow (CF) will always increase higher than the Trust Flow and not the contrary. This is because most websites have lots of links, but not all of them are relevant. Even if you’re developing a qualitative linking strategy, there are always directories or other sorts of backlinks that are not very qualitative pointing to your website. On the other hand, Citation Flow refers to the popularity of a link in a site without considering the quality of those links. A perfect example of this would be spammy domains. They tend to have a very high Citation Flow, but these links are often not qualitative. A website with a lot of links pointing to it will be influential and will get a higher Citation Flow score. But, if your Citation Flow increases, there is no proof that your Trust Flow will also increase. If a website with high Citation Flow flow points to your website, your Citation Flow should get a boost. At the same time, if a website with high Citation Flow but low Trust Flow links to your website, it will negatively impact your Trust Flow.
Domainers can use these metrics to look at a domain name and quickly determine if it is high quality (owning both a high Trust and Citation Flow score) or low quality and possibly even spam (owning a high Citation Flow but low Trust Flow score).
Metrics have been seriously used in SEO for well over a decade, going way back to when link sellers would live or die by the PageRank toolbar. Since then, various companies like Majestic have tried to emulate what search engines might think of a URL or domain using their own ‘scoring system’. Metrics like Trust Flow and Citation Flow are great because they give a score from which we can measure our SEO efforts on scale. They can also help us quickly recognize low quality or spam and save us hours of research, by giving us a single number to evaluate. Since Majestic focuses specifically on the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to a specific page, Citation Flow (CF) and Trust Flow (TF) together give you new information about links and displays an easy-to-read chart showing you the site’s link profile graphically.
Every link pointing to a site has both a Trust Flow value and a Citation Flow value between 0 and 100. Links with high Citation Flow will show up to the right of the chart and links with high Trust Flow end up higher on the chart. Since many links could have similar scoring, the density and color of the chart will help to visualize these. The main purpose behind domainers checking Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow is to get more information about both the number of backlinks pointing into a domain, and the quality of those backlinks. The higher TF and CF a domain has, the more quality backlinks it has pointing to it. Just because a domain has lower TF and CF numbers associated with it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s junk or spam. Instead, it simply means there are aren’t lots of high quality websites linking back to it. What you should really be looking to avoid are domains with really high Citation Flow scores, but low Trust Flow. This would mean they are likely spam or junk because they have lots of links pointing into them, but the links are not of good quality.
It’s common for domain investors to use Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow numbers as a filter for SEO or traffic domains. If a domain has lots of quality incoming links pointing to it, there is a good chance it has existing traffic and possibly some existing search engine rankings as well. Anyone purchasing an expired domain with the intention of developing it will always want to check both Trust Flow and Citation Flow. However, domains which have never been developed will likely have very low (or even zero) Trust and Citation Flow scores.
Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow metrics can be seen by looking up your desired URL at majestic.com. To quickly check Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) for your website simply access a URL like this: https://majestic.com/reports/site-explorer?q=expireddomains.com
Majestic data is also available via an API.
A simple web request can display Majestic incoming link data including anchor text, trust flow, citation flow and more (needs your own, working Majestic API key from Majestic):
With the Majestic API customers can quickly check thousands of domains for both Trust Flow and Citation Flow in bulk, but it can be costly. The price for a Full API account with Majestic is $399.99 per month and there are no cheaper options aside from the free account which offers an extremely limited number of API calls that can be made each month.
The tools that Majestic offers have been positively reviewed by thousands of webmasters and SEO experts all around the world. When it comes to in-depth backlink research and analysis, there are very few tools that can offer what Majestic does. In fact, the company doesn’t specialize in other aspects of the SEO world (keyword research, on/off site SEO audits..etc). Instead, Majestic built their algorithm and entire business around one thing: backlinks. By using their own database and in-house algorithm, it can be almost impossible to manipulate your Trust Flow or Citation Flow. These metrics can’t be faked with bots and those who try to cheat the system with spammy backlinks will quickly see their TF and CF numbers go down. Good quality incoming links can’t be faked, so if a domain has high Trust Flow and Citation Flow numbers, it’s probably good-quality and not junk or spam.
Majestic offers subscription plans at a variety of different price points, from free accounts to paid subscriptions which start at just $49.99 per month. High end features in the Majestc tool include deeper link analysis and API access which allows developers to easily integrate Majestic data with their own toolsets.
How Is It Calculated
Majestic basically crowdsourced a manual review of the web and collated a set of trusted ‘seed sites’. How separated a given URL is from this set of seed sites determines the Trust Flow. For example, if The White House was in the ‘seed sites’ and you received a link back from them, you would expect your Trust Flow to be pretty high. But, if the link came from a site that was 10 ‘steps’ away from The White House, the Trust Flow would be lower. Citation Flow is measured by the quantity of links pointing to a specific URL. Although Majestic states that not all links are judged equally, the basic premise is that the more links a URL has (both internally and externally), the higher its Citation Flow score will be.
Although the algorithms differ from one place to another, there are several similar alternatives to Majestic Trust and Citation Flow. These include MOZ domain authority & page authority, SEMrush domain authority, and Ahrefs domain & URL rating.