SEO Testing Results: Trust Pulling (Simple DAS)


What is Trust Pulling?

One of your main concerns as an SEO should be to increase the “trust” of your (or your client’s) sites.  When a real business creates a website, one of the first things they do is brand themselves in the social media sphere by creating a company Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.  It’s a natural process of a website’s development.

In Trust Pulling you can mimic this natural, trust-building process by surrounding your site with a fortress of social profiles, web 2.0’s and other high domain authority (DA) properties.  These sites are connected to each other, and most importantly through a G+ profile which ties it all together.

When first created, these properties offer zero link juice (page authority = 1).  So what you do is link to these properties with some high power PBNs.  In the past, people used to use GSA for this, but what we learned from the last Penguin 3.0 penalties, you need to keep the spam much further away from your money site.

Now you have multiple high DA/PA assets surrounding your money site, creating both trust and ranking potential.

Some people call this DA Stacking, or DAS.  It is, in essence, a very simple form of DAS but the configuration I’m testing is lacks DAS’s random, multi-tiered linking structure.

Proposed Benefits

In this testcase, I set out to qualify the following benefits of this link strategy…

  1. Ranking increase
  2. Increased trust factor
  3. The ease of ranking Facebook, Twitter, and other social parasites

Testcase Setup

For this testcase, I used a live money site.  It’s in a very high competition niche it targets some extremely difficult keywords in the weight loss niche.  The site is 6 months old and so is the social fortress surrounding it.

Social Fortress

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. LinkedIn
  4. YouTube Channel
  5. Google+
  6. Pinterest

Pre-test preparation: A month and a half before testing, I stopped sending high value links to the site.  To keep up the link velocity, I started sending low impact links such as non-homepage, nofollow’s.

During the test period, I created 10 PBN links to the social fortress in the following pattern.

link flow2

Note: G+ is just for tying the social fortress together.  It is not recommended to link directly to a G+ page.


I have to admit, I was about to throw in the towel early on this test.  Results were dead flat for over a month and a half.  Finally I started seeing movement in week 6.

serpsRanking Increase

As stated, seeing an impact on the money site took a long time: about 1.5 months.  90% of Diggity Links clients see results within 7 days, however some take 2-3 weeks.  So I suppose it makes sense that the link juice might take twice as long to propogate through the social fortress layer.

After about 2.5 months of testing, the average SERP placement increased by about 14%.  

The Million Dollar Question:
Would these PBN links have been better utilized going straight to the money site?

Overall I sent 10 PBN links to the social fortress.  If I would have sent all 10 directly to the money site, would it have ranked higher?  Based on data, my answer is no.

I’ve ranked this keyword before.  It’s an insanely competitive affiliate keyword.  Looking at past data, getting from rank 15 to 12 took 14 links.  The Trust Pulling technique wins by a small margin.  But what’s more promising in Trust Pulling is that this money site is now flirting with page one, a major milestone… especially in this niche.

Trust Factor

This is nearly impossible to quantify, but just from a qualitative perspective, creating a social fortress around your site establishes trust, which we are starting to notice becoming more and more of a ranking factor.  Popular websites and businesses have Facebook and Twitter pages, which in turn get traffic and links.  It just makes sense.

From a safety perspective, I strongly believe that this linking configuration adds a significant level of safety.  The high DA of the fortress acts as a trust filter for your money site.  And if for some reason you run into a penguin penalty, simply remove the link from which ever social site tanked.

Which parasites ranked?

Not suprisingly, Facebook did.  Many people are reporting that Facebook is the new YouTube when it comes to easy ranking.  I found the same.

Again, results were slow.  It took 60 days for the Facebook page to react, but the results are excellent, especally with only 3 links.  Very soon I’ll have two properties sitting on the first page for multiple keywords.



Overall, I’m happy with the results of this test.  While I’m not blown away by time-to-result, the fact that I ranked two properties with less links than normal is superb.  Not to mention the unquantifiable trust factor that Trust Pulling brings to the money site.

What kind of sites would I recommend this for?

  • High competition affiliate sites – Instead of linking to your money site from 100% PBNs, mix in a social fortress and establish some trust for yourself.  Rank your parasite pages and dominate Page 1.
  • Local SEO – While ranking efficiency isn’t as much as a factor for local, trust is indeed important.   Power up a client’s social fortress, reduce penalty chance, and keep them as a customer for years to come.

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  • Would you use this tactic for amazon niche sites aswell or do you think that it would be a waste of time?
    I am talking about a not so strong PBN with not so high PA.

    Best wishes from Germany

    • Hi Ben,

      When I compared the ranking response between this testcase and a testcase that ranked previously, I was using the same PBN’s to do the linking. So essentially, I got more milage out of the same PBNs.

      It doesn’t depend on the quality of the PBNs. It’s more about the high DA filtering effect that the social profiles provide.

      I can’t say with 100% certainty that this will work for ALL testcases though. Try it out and let us know if it works for you as well.


  • Hi Matt! Amazing results out there!
    Anyhow, please answer my questions:
    1. Could you please elaborate on how you linked the 10 PBN sites to the social fortress? Is it:
    A. 1 PBN site per 1 social profile exclusively?
    B. 1 PBN site to all social profiles at the same time?

    2. When you say “G+ is just for tying the social fortress together”, do you mean just placing all the links in the “Links” section of Google+ page? How can you tie the social fortress together?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Maiko. Hajimemashite.

      1. Could you please elaborate on how you linked the 10 PBN sites to the social fortress? Is it:
      A. 1 PBN site per 1 social profile exclusively?
      B. 1 PBN site to all social profiles at the same time?

      The answer is A. I never repeat link pattern footprints when linking from PBNs.

      2. When you say “G+ is just for tying the social fortress together”, do you mean just placing all the links in the “Links” section of Google+ page? How can you tie the social fortress together?

      You got it right!

  • Hey Matt,
    A few questions I have:
    1. Will you continue this test and keep adding more PBN links to the social profiles each month? I’m wondering if the same benefits would be seen if you were in the top 10 rankings.

    2. What are your thoughts on using this along with the SNAP plugin to syndicate all your published content? My thought is this would then work two fold.

    3. Instead of using PBN links, I guess this could also be done with SAPE links or even in combination with SAPE and PBN’s ?


    • Hey Doug,

      1) I’m taking this testcase and transforming it into a full blown DAS testcase. So, no more continued Trust Pulling.

      2) I’m always iffy about automatic syndication. I’ve tried a few different methods and never saw a positive result, nor have I seen a negative result ever too. Before you try it, test it out on a non-critical site.

      3) SAPE… I stay away from it simply because ethically the idea of it doesn’t sit well with me. But to each, their own.

  • Hi Matt,

    Really love this and am sending the first links now 🙂

    1. Does the anchor texts matter? Can you just use any terms or naked url, or … what?

    2. Can I include links to my money site in the same article?

    • 1) You can use target anchors. To pages like Facebook that can easily rank themselves, use smart anchor text selection as if it were your money site.

      2) Kind of defeats the purpose.

  • Hello Matt! I have this NOFOLLOW “phobia” for months now.
    Google+ is NOFOLLOW right? So if my PBN is DOFOLLOW and Google+ is NOFOLLOW, will Google+ still pass juice to my money site?
    Could you please clear my doubts? Thanks!

    • Note: G+ is just for tying the social fortress together. It is not recommended to link directly to a G+ page.

      Furthermore, yes many of these social properties are nofollow and yes they pass link juice. Just look at the results.

  • Hi,

    You say that you pointed some PBN links to your profile pages. If you do this from several of your PBN websites, is it a red flag to Google and your enemies or the big G is only looking at links to your money site?

    I was concerned that linking to several social profiles from your PBN site might give away for whose benefit the PBN website is being run – indicating ownership.

    Or this is not a concern?


    • Hey Dale, you’ll want to use separate PBNs to link to your MS and your social profiles… that way there’s no connection between the two.

  • It might sound like a stupid question but I realy don’t get the following:
    How can you rank your fb page for a keyword with just one PBN link?
    What content do you put on your fb page to rank for that kw.

    • Hi Matthias. To clarify, the FB received 3 links as indicated in the blue table. How to rank it? Simply like any other web property, make sure they keyword appears in the URL, Title, content, etc, then send an anchor with the keyword.

  • Hi Matt,

    if I’m interpreting this correctly then the overall ranking gain from this strategy is slightly higher and you get the benefit of trust, but it takes significantly longer to rank, right?

    I’m wondering would you prefer this strategy over “regular” PBN linking (pointing them straight to your domain) and if so why?

    Is a mix of the two strategies recommended? You could send your best and cleanest links directly at your money site and maybe foreign PBN links or maybe even SAPE at your social profiles and have them “cleaned/filtered”.

    Your opinion?

    • Great questions. I currently am still employing the “Trust Pulling” techniques on the sites I’m ranking. You’re right, the rankings are delayed. However for the prime reason that my social properties also have a solid chance to rank, I will continue to do this going forward. As for sending dirty links through filters… I never send dirty links at tier 2, nor do I use SAPE, ever.

      • Thanks for the reply. That’s really interesting. Any reason why you shouldn’t combine the two strategies? I’m thinking link out twice from the same PBN and send one link to the money site and one link to one of the social profiles.

        • Absolutely. You can definitely link to a social property and your money site from the same PBN. It’s a common, natural occurance for a website to link to another webpage they’re discussing, their Facebook page, Twitter, etc.

    • Typically just 1. The properties that have a chance to rank get more (3+ until they rank) and the ones that are dofollow (rebelmouse, etc) get a few more as well.

  • Hi Matt,

    Just found your blog though I do ‘follow you’ on Fb… I found this very interesting and will look to implement in both my ‘day job’ and for my own ventures…

    Are you going to release anything further on this concept or is what you have written sufficient to make it successful?

    Happy New Year!

  • Hey Matt,
    This is freaking awesome. I have a question and i also know the answer but for my satisfaction i wanna ask 😀
    can i use my normal link building campaign with this method, mean to say can i build links to my site while playing with this trust pulling method.
    Secondly i really thankful for this technique, i am going to launch a new affiliate site project, which has 37 average KC in Long Tail Pro. So you have mention 6 weaks for high competitive keyword. How much time it will consume to see improvements with this 37 competition keyword ?

    • 1) Yes. TP is not meant as a replacement for normal link building.
      2) I don’t use LTP and there’s never really an answer for that question anyways.

  • Hi Matt I do have 2 questions regarding TP.

    1) Do you think it would be possible to rank an entire site to page one solely off of TP? So instead of sending links directly to your site, you simply send them directly to your social properties. Thus avoiding any possible link penalty triggers.

    2) Do you think by using TP, you can aviod the sandbox?

    • 1) No. Most of these social fortress sites are nofollow, so you’re not going to get much link juice. The point of trust pulling is to increase trust, which is another ranking factor sure, but not all that’s needed to rank.
      2) No.

  • I still cannot get my head around this, everyone is ranting about this, and says it works. Is there a blue print of this, so we can easy follow this. I’m a bit of thicko, but very interested in it, I just cannot afford to have the DAS done for me, if I could I would just pay the $1500 for it and its done.

    I have another question can you das your das, just like using profile links to your profile links?

  • Hi, This is really just awesome technique. I have been reading your blog from yesterday.. I do not know why I was not able to find your blog before.
    Honestly, your content making me stick like a glue…. really gems….

    Just wanted to ask you before i act..

    can I still use it in 2016?

    I have two social properties, facebook and google plus. and now going to create 3 more.. so will it be ok to send pbn juice to those properties after 10 days of creating the social profile or should I wait for few more days?

    Loved your work.. Thank you for bringing so much value. keep educating us. 🙂