Google Ranking Signals - Trust
Google uses Trust as a ranking signal. But not Yahoo's Trustrank algorithm as way too many people would have you believe.
"TrustRank" is NOT Google's algorithm, and too many people have been saying that it is. Just because Yahoo doesn't have their own search engine anymore doesn't mean that either Google or Bing can start using trustrank. And would they really want to anyway?
Trustrank is based on the assumption that good sites link to good sites. The whitepaper behind it (there's also a yahoo patent) is:
Combating Web Spam with TrustRankhttp://www.cs.toronto.edu/vldb04/protected/eProceedings/contents/pdf/RS15P3.PDF
Google does not use TrustRank. Google does use trust, but not "Trustrank."
Google does have a patent for a kind of trust rank, as described in a patent from Ramanathan Guha titled, "Search result ranking based on trust".http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PTXT&S1=7,603,350.PN.&OS=pn/7,603,350&RS=PN/7,603,350
This is tied to annotations made by people creating Google custom search engines, and labels for different pages that help describe and define the contents of those pages. Since the people creating these annotations have a expertise in the subject matter of their custom search engines, they might be identified as trusted sources, and their annotations may influence the rankings of the things they've labeled.
I wrote about it a few years ago in:
Google Trust Rank Patent Grantedhttp://www.seobythesea.com/2009/10/google-trust-rank-patent-granted/
AT the point, I was wondering if there really were that many Google Custom search engines for the approach to actually be useful.
Another algorithm where Google has trust play a role doesn't directly impact rankings in search results, but instead locations of business in Google Maps. People who suggest changes in Google Map Maker may accrue a certain level of trust, which means that their suggestions might be believed and acted upon. A paper on the algorithm:
Reputation Systems for Open Collaborationhttp://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en/us/pubs/archive/36757.pdf
As far as we know, Google hasn't officially started to use an Agent Rank system, except maybe for in depth articles. But, they have come out with three versions of the Agent Rank patent, with the last 2 being continuation patents where they've updated the claims section of the patents.
All of the Agent Rank patents tell us that they might limit giving value to endorsements (links, shares, comments, responses, etc.) to "trusted" Agents. This could mean another role for trust, possibly similar to the way that trust is used in Map Maker, where certain criteria or thresholds might need to be met first before reputation might be given to others, based upon sharing.
Given that such an approach might be helpful in filtering out people attempting to manipulate something like a reputation score based upon an Agent Rank, it would make sense to limit improvements to reputation scores based upon endorsements from trusted agents.