Off-Page SEO

Citation Flow

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jun 8, 2023

Citation Flow

What is Citation Flow?

Citation flow is a metric developed by Majestic used to measure the influence or popularity of a web page or URL based on the number of citations or links pointing to it from other websites.

It is part of a larger suite of metrics known as the Majestic SEO metrics, which are designed to help website owners and marketers analyse the link profile and authority of a website.

It is measured on a scale of 0-100, with a higher score indicating a greater influence. The rationale behind Citation Flow is that when more websites link to a particular URL, it is likely to be more influential or valuable in terms of information or resources.

However, Citation Flow does not take into account the quality or trustworthiness of the sites linking to the URL.

How is Citation Flow measured?

Citation flow is measured by Majestic SEO using a proprietary algorithm that counts the number of backlinks pointing to a webpage.

The citation flow score for a webpage is based solely on the number of backlinks pointing to it, without considering other factors such as the relevance or authority of those links.

Citation flow scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a larger number of backlinks pointing to the webpage.

However, it is important to note that citation flow is just one metric among many that can be used to evaluate a website's link profile and should be used in conjunction with other metrics.

Is Citation Flow important?

Citation Flow primarily measures the "quantity" of links pointing to your web page, without directly considering the quality of those links.

It is important as it provides insight into the influence and popularity of your website based on the number of backlinks it has.

A higher Citation Flow score indicates that your website has attracted more backlinks, suggesting that it may have valuable content or resources that other websites find worth linking to.

However, it's essential to remember that Citation Flow only measures the number of backlinks, not their quality.

A high Citation Flow score alone may not guarantee better search engine rankings, as search engines also consider the quality and relevance of backlinks when evaluating a website's authority and credibility.

Therefore, focusing on both the quantity and quality of backlinks is crucial for a successful link-building strategy and improved search engine rankings.

Difference between Citation Flow and Trust Flow

Citation Flow and Trust Flow are both part of the "Flow Metrics" suite developed by Majestic SEO to evaluate the quality and influence of a website's backlink profile.

Citation Flow focuses on the number of backlinks a URL has, without considering the quality or trustworthiness of the sites linking to it.

A higher Citation Flow score suggests that a website has a larger number of backlinks, which may indicate increased influence.

In contrast, Trust Flow evaluates the trustworthiness of a page by examining the quality of the websites linking to it.

Based on the idea that trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites, Trust Flow assigns scores to reflect this quality aspect.

A higher Trust Flow score implies that a website has more credible and high-quality backlinks, indicating it is likely to be more trustworthy.

By considering both metrics, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your website's backlink profile, balancing the quantity and quality of your backlinks.

How do trust flow and citation flow interact?

Citation flow and trust flow are related metrics, but they measure different aspects of a website's link profile and do not directly interact with each other.

Both metrics can be useful in evaluating a website's link profile, but they provide different types of information.

A webpage with a high citation flow score will have a large number of links pointing to it, but those links may come from low-quality or spammy websites. 

A webpage with a high trust flow score, on the other hand, is likely to have a low citation score because there may be a few links coming from high-quality and trustworthy websites.

A high Citation Flow score coupled with a low Trust Flow score might indicate that a website has numerous backlinks, but many of them are from low-quality or spammy sources.

On the other hand, a website with a high Trust Flow score and a low Citation Flow score has fewer backlinks, but they are of higher quality and come from trustworthy websites.

There isn't a universally ideal Trust Flow to Citation Flow ratio, as it can vary depending on the niche, industry, and specific characteristics of a website.

However, a balanced or close ratio between the two metrics is generally considered a good sign of a healthy backlink profile.

Ultimately, the primary focus should be on building a robust and diverse backlink profile with links from authoritative and relevant sources.

This approach will positively impact both Trust Flow and Citation Flow scores, contributing to better search engine rankings and online visibility.


While citation flow does not measure the quality of links, it can still be a useful metric for evaluating the overall popularity and visibility of a webpage based on the number of links pointing to it.

However, it should be used with other metrics and qualitative analysis to get a comprehensive understanding of a website's link profile and overall authority.

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