Citation Flow and Trust Flow: All That You Want to Know

Have you ever wondered what citation flow and trust flow are? It can be confusing for those who don't know about them. But understanding their importance is essential when it comes to improving online visibility and presence. Citation Flow and Trust Flow are both metrics that measure the authoritative status of a website or web page by analyzing how many other websites link to them. They can significantly affect your ranking in search engine results as well as guide people towards valuable sources of content. In this blog post, we'll dive deep into the similarities between Citation Flow vs Trust Flow, explain why they're important, and provide useful tips on utilizing each metric optimally to boost your overall SEO performance.

What is Citation Flow?

Citation flow is a metric used to know how many links are pointing to a site. It helps you determine the quality or influence of that site. This metrics focus on the number of links rather than the quality. 

The word “influential” in this context has a unique meaning. It determines how much a blog or site can impact its readers. If more domains point to a page, it considers the page more influential.

The trust flow is also a determining factor for citation flow. An increase in the trust flow is likely to increase the citation flow. However, there is no stringent rule on how the increase in citation flow affects the trust flow.

In simple terms, if Trust flows increase by 10%, that necessarily doesn’t mean the citation flow will increase with the same percentage.

Similarly, no rule says an increase in citation flow will increase the trust flow.

For instance, suppose you got some backlinks from sites with high citation flow. Even with fewer inbound links, you will get a big citation boost in such incidents.

Trust flow is also essential in this matter. Your site will be negatively affected if sites with a high citation but low Trust flows link with you. 

What is Trust Flow?

Trust flow is a metric to decide the trustworthiness of a site. Your site will be considered more trustworthy if you have more quality backlinks.

You will have a greater trust flow if trustworthy and authoritative backlinks are linked to your site.

You must probably wonder why trust flow numbers are lesser than citation flow.

This is because not every backlink carries the same quality. This means your site may have hundreds or thousands of backlinks. That does not necessarily mean these links are trustworthy. Your site’s trust flow only increases if you receive quality backlinks.

Here is the truth- you may try harder to eliminate bad links from your site. However, you will always get some auto-generated bad links from various directories or unreliable sources.

Hence, the chances of getting high-quality backlinks are always low. As a result, the Trust flow rarely overtakes the citation flow. 

Experts believe high trust flow is linked to a site’s organic traffic.

A site with a high trust flow will likely have a high-quality backlink portfolio. This means google boosted the ranking of the site. In other words, a high trust flow makes google and other search engines believe your site has high-quality content. 

Trust Flow and Citation Flow Ratio

The average Trust to citation flow ratio should not be lower than 0.5. However, 1 remains the most desirable ratio. 

The ratio between trust and citation flow determines the overall worthiness of a website.

If a site has a citation flow of 60 and a trust flow of 30, the ratio is 2:1 or 0.5. The maximum ratio usually doesn’t exceed 0.9 in most cases. However, for google, the Trust to citation ratio could look like 98:99.

If the trust flow is significantly less than the citation flow, it clearly means your site has many low-quality backlinks. If that happens, you need to address the matter right away. 

You can remove bad links from your site without affecting your ranks. Removing bad links is good for your site. Imagine some visitors coming to your site and seeing inappropriate links or popups from bad links. Bad links give a bad name to your site. Removing these links is the only solution. 

How to Measure Flow Metrics?

Citation flow and trust flow are flagship metrics created by in 2012. The digital marketing industry now uses these metrics to measure the health of an URL.

To measure these flow metrics, do the following −

  • Go to the official website of Majestic SEO. 

  • Enter the URL and select fresh index (set at default).

  • Hit search

The window will display the backlink profile of the URL along with the flow metrics.

Non-signed-up users get limited usage as per the policy. To extend your usage limit, you have to register a free account. 

Installing the Majestic SEO plugin for Chrome or Firefox is a better and more convenient option, as you can check any URL with a single click.

To check multiple URLs, you need to use the bulk backlink checker tool and the raven SEO tools alongside the Majestic SEO API.

Benefits of Majestic SEO

The following are the advantages of using Majestic SEO −

  • It provides exceptional link quality analysis

  • It helps identify the reason behind the penguin penalty 

  • It prevents the accumulation of irrelevant links on your site

  • It assists in identifying top influencers in your niche

  • It allows content writers and bloggers to find quality content

Tips to Increase Flow Metrics

Focus on Trust Flow

Pay more focus to gain quality links. This will increase your trust flow and maintain a healthy Trust to citation ratio. Increasing your citation flow with low-end links is of no use. Ultimately, quality always wins over quantity.

Aims for Authoritative Backlinks

A single authoritative backlink holds much more power than 1000 low-quality backlinks. Plus, you should also remove all unnecessary backlinks to increase your flow ratio. A low flow ratio can hurt your site’s worthiness.

Don’t go Overboard with Backlinks

Indeed backlinks are great, but keep them within limits. If your site is new, you should focus more on creating quality content. Then you should focus on building backlinks. A great way to build backlinks is through guest posting. However, you should keep it to a minimum. 

Stay within your Niche

Getting irrelevant backlinks to your content won’t increase your trust flow. This is because MajesticSEO calculates your topical trust scores. This means to rank higher in google, you need higher trust scores in your niche.

Go for Internal Linking

A well-planned internal linking strategy can increase your trust and citation flow. If you link all the influential pages to your homepage, this could improve your flow metrics. Having backlinks to the homepage and internal pages can significantly appreciate your flow metrics.

Use Trustworthy Backlinks for More Trust Score

Regarding the quality of content, you need citations and references from authoritative links. For this, TLDs like .gov and .edu are pretty essential. It helps improve your site’s trust score. 


Overall, Citation Flow and Trust Flow are two very important metrics of Link Analysis. For any website to be successful in terms of gaining organic search engine traffic, it needs to have a strong balance between the two. This means that websites need to have a varied and diverse range of inbound links from sources across the internet in order for the algorithm to recognize their importance. Furthermore, these links should come from high-authority sites as much as possible, as this will increase the overall Trust Flow score of the website. To ensure success with link analysis, webmasters should ensure that all of their incoming links are both varied and from credible sources. With proper understanding of Citation Flow and Trust Flow as outlined here, webmasters can set themselves up for success when it comes to SEO in general.

Updated on: 06-Apr-2023


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