• http://www.seo.hr/blog/ Bruno Šarić

    Aaron, you have a dead link: “a study on web Credibility [PDF]”.

  • http://www.usabilityeffect.com Kim (cre8pc)

    Here’s another link (not PDF) to the Stanford research:


    For those who wish to learn more…searches on “captology” are helpful, as well as the resources and book by Fogg at (http://credibility.stanford.edu/) and (http://captology.stanford.edu/).

  • http://searchengineland.com Danny Sullivan

    I’ve fixed that first link.

  • http://blog.vortexdna.com Kaila Colbin

    Hi there,

    Sorry it took me a week to get to this piece. I concur with you 100% that credibility and trustworthiness are fundamental (see my post Trust is the new e-currency for my views on the matter).

    However, I must take exception with the conclusion of your article.

    You say, “In many instances appearing as though you are credible is more important than actually knowing what you are talking about, especially on a network that has no respect for copyright and where just about everything is freely available.”

    Now, I am naive in many ways, but not so naive as to be blind to the benefits that can be gained from acting like you know what you’re talking about. But surely these benefits outweigh the negatives! I’m really surprised that you’re encouraging people to ‘fake it til they make it’ in an article promoting credibility. How about encouraging people to be genuine instead?

    My own experience is that one of the surest ways to gain credibility and trust is by freely admitting where the limits of your knowledge lie. Just because some people have gained exposure by pretending to know more than they do doesn’t mean it’s a desirable objective.

    I wish you had ended with the previous sentences: “Authority is not something you take, but something that is granted. Gaining authority makes it easier to gain more authority, and eventually it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.”

    Now THAT I agree with.