Flow metrics are getting more important with time, substituting the power of PageRank. It’s no secret that Google considers metrics like domain authority, citation flow, and trust flow in its ranking algorithm. So to stay on top of SEO, you need to know what these metrics mean and how to properly read and use them.
What is Citation Flow?
Citation Flow is a Majestic SEO metric that reflects the number of backlinks to a domain or URL. It measures the popularity of an URL, based on how many other websites link to it. Thanks to it, we can now be faster and more accurate when analyzing domains and their backlinks.
How to Properly Read the Citation Flow Metric
We all know that Google considers quality, authority, and trust as ranking factors. The Citation Flow shows how popular a website link is. However, it doesn’t consider the quality of backlinks, just their number, and this is where you can misread this metric.
As low-quality backlinks are abundant in the link profiles of spammed domain names, high Citation Flow is not always a good thing. It’s good only when the Trust Flow (reflecting links quality) is also high.
Normally, when Trust Flow increases, the same will happen with Citation Flow. This isn’t the case the other way around – if your Citation Flow gets higher, Trust Flow might not do the same.
For example: When a site with high Citation Flow points to your site, you might see your own Citation Flow growing. But if this website has a low Trust Flow, you might experience a negative effect on your website’s Trust Flow.
How Trust Flow and Citation Flow Interact Together
Both Trust Flow and Citation Flow are important site metrics, but how to be sure if their ratio is actually good? Increasing your website’s trust is an essential part of optimizing for search engines. Case studies show that the best ratio is 1 and an average Trust Flow to Citation Flow ratio is about 0.5. Just keep in mind that if the Citation Flow of a website is much higher than its Trust Flow, the website might be hosting a lot of low-quality backlinks.
This is why SEO.Domains filters use Citation Flow only as a signal for potentially spammy backlink profile.
Image credit: Majestic