Trust is important with internet marketing because of the
increasing importance put on the value of product/service recommendations and
the sheer volume of noise created by marketers trying to emulate what happens
naturally on the social web.
Trust is a very important piece of how brands are
built. A brand is a promise kept (forget who said that first) and promises kept
instill trust with consumers. Marketers engaging in a social context need to
earn the trust of the audiences they intend on reaching and communicating
with. Otherwise, things can turn in the
other direction pretty quickly. On the social web, there seems to be no middle
ground on trust. Either consumers trust or they don’t.
Becoming a trusted source of information as recognized by
search engines brings a variety of benefits ranging from more frequent crawling
of pages (due to more frequent publishing) to better visibility via search.
While I’m not specifically privvy to search engines’ “secret sauce”,
as a long time internet marketing consultant, I’m confident in saying that there are a mix of on-site and off-site
factors/signals that help a search engine distinguish one site as
“trusted” (not that SEs use that term) and others as not. The trick
is figuring out how much of each in what situations.
Consistently publishing new content in a way that is easy
for engines to find and index along with a steady flow of topically relevant
inbound links would be the simple formula I’d look at to earning a search
engine’s trust. I don’t think it would be any different for consumers either.
And that’s the point isn’t it? It
doesn’t matter if search engines trust your site or not if people that visit
the site don’t trust it or the message being conveyed.